Baillie: Time to find out what Poppies are made of

Poppies joint-boss Thomas Baillie is seeking an improved display from his team at Beaconsfield SYCOB on Saturday

Poppies joint-boss Thomas Baillie is seeking an improved display from his team at Beaconsfield SYCOB on Saturday

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The Kettering Town players and joint-managers came under fire following last weekend’s surprise FA Cup defeat to Chalfont St Peter.

Fans and even chairman Ritchie Jeune, who simply said on Twitter: “Not good enough”, were clearly unhappy following the 1-0 loss to the Poppies’ Southern League Division One Central rivals in the second qualifying round tie in front of the the biggest crowd of the season so far at Latimer Park.

The defeat was Kettering’s second in a row after they had surrendered a 2-1 lead at Marlow to concede twice in the final 16 minutes.

The Poppies head to Beaconsfield SYCOB tomorrow (Saturday) still on top of the table after a decent start to the new campaign.

But such is the expectation this season, two defeats in a row against teams who are mid-table at best in the same league, looks to have created a mini crisis.

And joint-boss Thomas Baillie is certain that these are the times when they will “find out what everyone is made of.”

“If this is to be a tough time for us then we will certainly find out what everybody is about – both inside and outside the squad,” said Baillie.

“We will find out what everyone is made of and when you have a troubled period, you begin to realise who is with you.

“But this group of players have got us to where we are and we have every confidence in them.

“There are just certain things at both ends of the pitch that need to be addressed.

“The expectation and criticism we receive when we lose two games in a row is part and parcel of being at a club like Kettering.

“That’s something we are aware of and accept.”

The weekend trip is quickly followed by a shorter one to Bedford Town in midweek.

It represents the start of a hectic month, which will see plenty of crucial points on offer.

Baillie knows his team need an “improved performance” over the next two games. But he was also keen to offer a sense of perspective as well.

“October is a big month for us,” he said.

“I know there has been a lot of debate since last weekend but the fact remains we are a point clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.

“We have scored more goals than anyone else in the league and we have one of the best defensive records.

“We have got ourselves in a position to compete. There are a lot of clubs who would like to be in our position.

“There are some tough matches coming up but I am sure we can bounce back.

“But we need an improved performance on Saturday and then again on Tuesday.”

Lewis Wilson is set to be in the squad after he rejoined the club at the end of last week on loan from Oxford City.