Cox excited for Poppies' intriguing Trophy test

Paul Cox insists he is “under no illusions” of how tough it will be for Kettering Town as they bid to make it through to the last 32 of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 7:30 am
Paul Cox takes his Kettering Town team to take on FC United of Manchester in the first round of the FA Trophy this weekend. Picture by Peter Short

The Poppies face an intriguing first-round test on Saturday as they head to Broadhurst Park to take on FC United of Manchester.

It is a clash between two in-form sides.

Kettering are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions and are yet to taste defeat under manager Cox but their Northern Premier League hosts are undefeated in their last 10 matches.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And Cox, who has guided the Poppies out of the Vanarama National League North relegation zone, knows his team will need to perform well if they are to maintain their interest in the competition.

“FC United are a team who have been doing really well of late,” Cox said.

“They probably started the season poorly by their standards but they have picked up and they are gaining momentum.

“We are under no illusions, it will be a tough game and we will need the same mindset we showed at Peterborough Sports in the last round.

“The league is always our priority but if you can’t get excited by a competition which has its final at Wembley Stadium then you are in the wrong business.

“We are on a decent little run ourselves at the moment so we have a bit of confidence and hopefully we can play well and progress into the next round.”

A big crowd of more than 2,000 is expected at Broadhurst Park with the club, which was formed by fans of Manchester United in 2005 in the wake of the Glazer family’s takeover, regularly attracting large attendances.

And Cox added: “I think we have some boys who will play off the big crowd to be honest.

“We have got some experienced players who have been at a higher level so we will make sure we go there and focus on the job on the pitch.

“But we will certainly be treating the game with the respect it deserves.”