Laurie Walker has warned his Leamington team-mates that they can’t expect an easy ride when they take on Kettering Town on Sunday.
The former Poppies goalkeeper is set to go up against his former club at Corby Town’s Steel Park having joined the Brakes after originally signing for Brackley Town after he left Kettering at the height of their financial problems.
Walker has played a key role in helping Leamington to the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division and they are currently six points clear at the summit with a game in hand on their nearest rivals.
At the other end of the scale, Alan Doyle’s Poppies are staring relegation in the face as they remain 15 points adrift of safety with 18 games to play following Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at Banbury United – their fourth successive defeat.
But Walker doesn’t believe for a minute that it will be easy for Leamington when top meets bottom this weekend.
“By no means is it going to be easy,” the goalkeeper, who was a popular figure at Kettering, said.
“I have been keeping an eye on how Kettering have been doing for obvious reasons and, although they are at the bottom, they haven’t been playing as badly as their results would suggest.
“You can never think a game is going to be easy. We will have to be fully prepared because if we aren’t then we could find ourselves in a spot of trouble.
“It is a tough game but we have made a habit of going to some hard places and picking up wins.
“We did it at Weymouth and Barwell on Tuesday nights when others thought we might struggle at those places. We have a good bunch of lads who are determined to do well for the club.”
Walker, meanwhile, admits it is a relief to be able to enjoy playing football again.
His personal financial problems were well-documented during his doomed spell at Kettering as the club struggled for survival following the decision to relocate to Nene Park.
“I am really enjoying playing football again and it is a nice feeling”, Walker added.
“It is nice not to have to worry about finances off the pitch and just concentrate on playing. And it is no coincidence that because I am more relaxed, I am playing pretty well.”