After Saturday’s home defeat against Rushall Olympic recently appointed manager Jimmy Albans will be under no illusions as to the size of the task he faces to keep the Nailers in the Premier division.
There is a feeling amongst supporters that it is already too late to save the club from relegation, but Albans remains optimistic that survival is still very much a possibility.
“I’ve seen enough in the two games so far to suggest that there is a glimmer of hope for us but there’s no doubt that we must improve in all areas if we are to escape relegation,” he said.
“One of the key areas is our fitness - it just isn’t good enough. The Ilkeston game is a case in point because we played well for an hour and held a two goal lead, then we just collapsed and just couldn’t keep going for 90 minutes.”
“There are some good players in the squad, but they have lost the ability to grind out wins or even draws and the Ilkeston and Rushall games are classic examples.”
Club secretary Ian Wright can expect a busy week as Albans gets to work on bringing in players who can bring the quality needed to give the Nailers a fighting chance of survival,
Even though the former Grantham Town manager has plenty of contacts in the game he may find recruiting the right players more difficult as the club languish at the foot of the table..
It will be a good test of Albans’ persuasive powers to get the right players in his squad but if he is to make his time at the Marston’s Stadium a success.
“We require new players that’s for certain,” said Albans, “It is a priority to get them in as soon as I can, but there’s also work that can be done with the players already at the club and they can expect to work hard on the training ground to achieve full fitness.”
The Nailers have 19 games to gather sufficient points to secure the another season at Premier division level.
Albans believes Belper will need to win at least 12 of their remaining 19 games to beat the drop.
It took 17 seasons of Evo-Stik Division One football for Belper Town to achieve Premier division status and to go straight back down would be huge disappointment for supporters who have become accustomed to success in recent years.
Hopes now rest firmly on Jimmy Albans to resurrect the fortunes of the Nailers and keep them at the level they have aspired to for so long.