Boss Andy Leese admits Kettering Town squad is 'stretched' ahead of busy run

​Andy Leese admits his Kettering Town squad is going to be 'stretched' over the coming weeks.
Kettering Town boss Andy Leese (Picture: Peter Short)Kettering Town boss Andy Leese (Picture: Peter Short)
Kettering Town boss Andy Leese (Picture: Peter Short)

The Poppies boss recently allowed a clutch of players to leave Latimer Park, as he felt the squad was too large and he wanted to work with a smaller number that is 'easier to manage'.

But the move has coincided with injuries to some key players, as well as a lengthy four-match suspension for defender Lewis White, and that is far from ideal.

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White was red-carded in the 3-1 defeat to AFC Telford United 10 days ago, and although initially Leese thought he may appeal that decision, the club has decided not to do that.

It means White started a four-match ban in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at Leamington, and as it stands he isn't due to be available to play again until the AFC Sudbury home date on December 2.

"That is going to be a massive loss," admitted Leese. "He did what he did, and we decided we couldn't appeal against it, so he will be missed, but it is an opportunity for somebody else to come in."

On the injury front, striker Leon Clarke missed Saturday's win over Royston Town with a foot injury but was fit enough to make the bench in midweek, while Dan Jarvis is also currently out and other players are struggling with knocks and strains.

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Leese is currently in the process of trying to add to his squad, and on Tuesday he did just that with the signing of Habib Makanjuola from Scunthorpe United.

The midfielder played in pre-season with the Poppies before signing on with the Iron, but he has now decided to sign on Latimer Park.

On Jarvis, the Poppies boss said: "Dan has had a scan, and another opinion, so he is still probably one to two weeks away from coming back.

"So for the time being, and the amount of games we have got, we are stretched.

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"We picked up one or two fatigue injuries on Saturday, and we had one or two running on empty at the end.

"We are going to need to bring one or two players in as we might need a couple more in the building to help us."

Poppies beat Royston 3-1 on Saturday thanks to an own goal and strikes from William Mellors-Blair and Tyrone Lewthwaite.

But on Tuesday they were beaten 2-1 at Leamington, Sam Bennett’s second-half goal no more than a consolation.

​On Saturday, Poppies travel to Coalville Town and then next Tuesday it is derby day as they host Corby Town in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup quarter-final (ko 7.45pm).