Cox delighted to keep 'versatile' McGrath on board at Poppies

Paul Cox believes Michael McGrath’s experience and versatility will be important to Kettering Town next season.

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 12:15 pm
Michael McGrath has agreed to stay at Kettering Town. Picture by Peter Short

Experienced McGrath, who joined the club during the last campaign, became the latest member of the squad to agree fresh terms for the next National League North season.

McGrath proved to be a key player at the heart of the Poppies defence after Cox arrived at Latimer Park.

But the Kettering manager hasn’t ruled out the possibility of using McGrath in his more natural position in the middle of midfield during next season.

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“I can only judge people on their performances since I have been at the club and Michael was very consistent,” Cox said.

“I have had a few positive chats with him and he’s not ruling out the fact that he feels he’s an out-and-out midfielder but hasn’t played there for Kettering since we have been in charge.

“We have been talking about his close season training programme and he is aiming to come back, not just very fit, but strong as well.

“So I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of seeing him in a central midfield role as well as defence and I think that’s a big thing with him, he’s very versatile and can play in a number of different positions.

“He also has very good experience. He’s good with the less experienced players and, with the likes of Luke Graham, it will be so valuable having them in and around the squad next season.

“There’s only so much you can control from the touchline. Having experience on the pitch and being able to calm people down is a good attribute to have.”

Cox, meanwhile, remains hopeful of completing some early business in the transfer market.

But he also believes “patience is key” given the current circumstances and the fact that no-one really knows when the next season will get under way.

“It’s been a bit strange because I don’t think there’s a lot of business being finalised,” the Poppies boss added.

“There’s a lot of clubs talking to a lot of players and we are in that category.

“Don’t get me wrong, hopefully we should have some moves in the coming week or so but I think a lot of clubs and players are being non-committal at the minute because no-one really knows when we are going to start.

“We are cracking on. We are talking to a lot of players and hopefully we can get a bit of business done early on.

“But the PFA list of players won’t be coming out until the mid stages of June so I think patience is key to make sure we get the right player, with the right mindset for the right price.”