Billy Heath tells North Ferriby United not to underestimate lowly Ilkeston
NORTH Ferriby United manager Billy Heath has warned his table-topping players not to underestimate basement side Ilkeston tonight.
Ilkeston visit the Villagers sitting bottom of the league with just seven points from 10 games.
However, they have games in hand on all the teams immediately above them in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, and Heath is wary of their threat.
The Ferriby manager is hoping his side can bounce back from Saturday's FA Trophy defeat at Buxton, against a team he feels are better than their league place suggests.
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"Ilkeston are in a false position," Heath told the Mail.
"I have had reports on them and they are better than their place in the table suggests. Their problem has been leaking goals, but they are very bright up front.
"They will be looking over their shoulders as they are bottom of the table and they will be wanting to do something about that.
"They do have games in hand, but it's better having the points on the board. We will be mindful of them, but we are still the division's in-form side.
"We don't fear anyone in this league and we have to be positive tonight."
Heath was disappointed with his side's FA Trophy exit, especially the manner in which Buxton were gifted their two goals through individual errors.
Despite the loss, Heath is glad errors have occurred in cup games this season, rather than in the league as they bid for promotion to the Conference North.
"Realistically, we probably weren't going to win the FA Trophy," Heath confessed.
"We have no more cup games to distract us now and I'd rather the mistakes come in cup matches than league games.
"We have a chance to stretch our gap on the other teams with a win tonight. We want to pile on the points so that everyone has to chase us down.
"Being out of the cups is disappointing, but at least come the end of the season we won't be squeezing games into the fixtures."
Heath will be without four key players for tonight's game.
Gary Bradshaw (hamstring), Paul Foot (dead leg), Gregg Anderson (groin) and Steve Gardner (knee) all look likely to sit out.
"Gregg has a chance tonight but the others will be out for maybe another week," Heath said.
"But players like Dean Lisles and Danny Clarke came on against Buxton and did well.
"Our performance wasn't too bad and when we got back to 1-1, we thought we'd go on and win.
"But we gifted them the deciding goal, and that shows the need to be solid at the back and work from there."