Boss Cox full of praise for his 'immense' Poppies squad

Paul Cox praised his Kettering Town players for an “immense” effort over the past two games as they maintained their good form with a 0-0 draw at Curzon Ashton last night (Monday).

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 8:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 8:02 am
Paul Cox and assistant-manager John Ramshaw watch on from the sidelines during Kettering Town's 0-0 draw at Curzon Ashton last night. Pictures by Peter Short

Having claimed a 2-2 draw at Gloucester City on Saturday, the Poppies followed it up with another point on the road against their fellow strugglers in the Vanarama National League North.

A point apiece saw both clubs move four clear of the relegation zone as the halfway stage of the season approaches while Kettering remain unbeaten since Cox took charge of the team.

And, after two tough trips in the space of just 48 hours, the Poppies boss had nothing but praise for his threadbare squad.

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Loan signing Matthew Taylor gets in for a shot on goal during the Poppies' goalless draw at Curzon Ashton

“I am over the moon to be fair,” Cox said.

“People have talked about the ‘big results’ we have had with the win against Bradford Park Avenue, the comeback against Blyth Spartans and the victory in the FA Trophy but, for me, these two results have been immense.

“They were two tough games away from home but the players have worked really hard and got something from both of them.

“The squad was that threadbare last night that we could only put three on the bench, Aaron (O’Connor) was still playing with illness and there were other niggles.

Match action from the Poppies' draw at Curzon Ashton

“But we went into it knowing there would be no excuses. It’s been two games in 48 hours where everything has been questioned both physically and mentally and the boys have responded by putting two immense shifts in.

“I could be picky. We were leading until late on at Gloucester and I thought we were the better team last night, I don’t recall Paul White having a serious save to make.

“But I am not going to be picky. I can’t ask much more of the players. They keep setting the standards and we just need to get one or two back to boost the squad again.”

The Poppies will have at least one body back for Saturday’s home clash with high-flying York City after Marcus Kelly completed a two-match ban last night.

But Joe Skarz is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines after having surgery for a hernia while Javan Vidal is also still injured.

And Ben Milnes missed out at Curzon having been withdrawn at Gloucester due to an Achilles problem.

“Ben put his body on the line at the weekend, he wanted to play and that shows me and everyone what this squad is all about,” Cox added.

“As a whole, we are showing a great mentality, a desire to want to win.

“Ben travelled with us again last night and wanted to give it a go but I had to step in and make the decision, he needs the rest.

“We will have a roll call at training on Thursday and see where we are and then we can look forward to the weekend."