Poppies boss Thomas ready for a testing time

Dean Thomas has warned his Kettering Town squad that they are in for a “testing time” over the next week or so.

The task of getting stuck into a big backlog of fixtures gets under way this week as the Poppies head to Chertsey Town in the Calor League Division One Central tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

James Jepson in action for Kettering Town during the 1-1 draw with Marlow. Pictures by Tony Waugh

James Jepson in action for Kettering Town during the 1-1 draw with Marlow. Pictures by Tony Waugh

That is immediately followed by a big clash at title-chasing Northamptonshire neighbours Daventry Town on Thursday night before two more away games at Beaconsfield SYCOB (Saturday) and Northwood (next Tuesday) follow on.

The Poppies have work to do to haul themselves back into contention for a play-off place and Thomas knows this next week will be a “big ask” for him and his players.

“We have got four away games in a row and it will be a big ask over the next few days, especially when we consider the boys will all be working before they come and play football,” the Kettering manager said.

“I have just said to them that they have got to look after themselves and get the right amount of rest between games.

Kettering Town v Marlow NNL-140803-173434001

Kettering Town v Marlow NNL-140803-173434001

“It is going to be a very testing time. But we have got the squad to get through it.

“I am sure most people will expect us to go to Chertsey and win but we have to make sure we do things right.

“I think it is going to be one hell of a game at Daventry on Thursday and then Saturday brings another match.

“But who would have thought this would be happening six months ago after the poor start we had?

Kettering Town v Marlow NNL-140803-173344001

Kettering Town v Marlow NNL-140803-173344001

“Who would have thought we would be in a position to push on and get ourselves in the play-offs? It is an important week.”

The Poppies were handed a boost during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Marlow at Latimer Park as top scorer Dubi Ogbonna made his return from a shin injury as a late substitute.

And Thomas added: “Dubi has had a serious cut on his shin and it isn’t looking too pretty.

“But we are going to need him now and it is good to get him back.”