Show your support, says Poppies boss Baillie

Poppies boss Thomas Baillie
Poppies boss Thomas Baillie

Thomas Baillie believes now would be a good time for the Kettering Town fans to come out in force and show their support for his struggling side.

Attendances for the Poppies’ home fixtures, which are currently being staged at Corby Town’s Steel Park stadium, have hit close to an all-time low.

A combination of well-documented off-field issues and poor displays on the pitch have led to a huge reduction in crowds.

Their last home game – a 6-1 defeat to Weymouth – attracted the third lowest attendance in the club’s 140-year history of just 187.

But, as Baillie prepares his relegation-bound troops to take on AFC Totton in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division in Corby on Saturday (3pm), he is hoping the tide will soon change.

News of a potential return to the borough, with Ritchie Jeune eyeing a move to Burton Latimer, has been welcomed in most quarters.

And Baillie is hoping his players can do their bit show the heartbeat of the club is still going strong, although they are staring an unwanted club record 10th successive defeat in the face.

“As always, it works both ways,” said the Poppies boss, whose team are now a massive 22 points from safety with just 13 games to play.

“The players here need to show the fans they want to play for the club and fight for everything. That is something we have to drum into them.

“On the other side of, there is nothing better for a young player to see a big crowd cheering them on, despite everything that has happened.

“There are good people here fighting to keep the club alive because they believe in it.

“Maybe it is time for the fans to show that this is still a big club in the non-League game. We all know the problems we are facing but I would like to think that everyone now knows there are volunteers trying to change it.

“Because of the move to Corby, we haven’t had a lot of home fixtures on a Saturday. But we have one this weekend. I really hope the fans come out and help us both on and off the pitch.”