“We have to set the record straight”.
That is the view of Kettering Town manager Dean Thomas as his team prepare to take on Calor League Division One Central rivals St Ives Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy at Latimer Park tomorrow (Saturday).
The Poppies boss pulled no punches in his assessment of his team’s first-half display in last weekend’s 2-1 league defeat at AFC Hayes as he branded their defensive efforts as “shocking”.
Things did improve after the break with Scott Cross grabbing a goal on his debut after signing from leaders Daventry Town at the end of last week.
But it wasn’t enough to prevent an unwelcome defeat that put an end to a four-match unbeaten run.
And Thomas is hoping his players are ready for the challenge of bouncing back in style when they take on St Ives, a team they beat for their first win of the season back in August.
“It doesn’t matter what level of football you play at, if you give your opponents chances then they will punish you and that is what happened last weekend,” Thomas said.
“The one thing you can’t afford to do is carry any players and I felt we carried too many at Hayes.
“I am as interested as anyone to see how the players react on Saturday.
“We have had a good week in training and they will be fully prepared for the match.
“What happened last weekend was simply down to a lack of focus and concentration from some of them.
“Hopefully they have learned that lesson and we can get back to the way we had been playing, which was a massive improvement.
“We need the experienced players in the squad to stand up and be counted.
“And we need everyone to go out there on Saturday and set the record straight after what happened last weekend.
“It is all about making sure everyone knows what their jobs are and then making sure they go out there and do it.
“If everyone does what is asked of them then we will have a great chance of going through to the next round. And that is what everyone at the club wants.”