Cox hopes to see Kettering Town fans back soon as he gears up for crucial early clash

Kettering Town manager Paul Cox. Pictures by Peter ShortKettering Town manager Paul Cox. Pictures by Peter Short
Kettering Town manager Paul Cox. Pictures by Peter Short
The Poppies could welcome supporters back to Latimer Park as early as December 5

Paul Cox can’t wait to see fans back at Latimer Park, even if it means him taking some stick from them!

The Kettering Town boss is preparing for an important home clash with his former club Guiseley tonight (Tuesday) as the current bottom two in the Vanarama National League North collide.

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The game will once again be played behind closed doors but it could only now be a matter of time before supporters are welcome back at the ground.

Ben Milnes is suspended for tonight's clash with GuiseleyBen Milnes is suspended for tonight's clash with Guiseley
Ben Milnes is suspended for tonight's clash with Guiseley

As part of the government’s plans laid out yesterday as they prepare to bring the country out of a national lockdown, it was confirmed that supporters will be able to return to elite sporting stadia, depending on what tier they find themselves in under the fresh Covid-19 regulations.

Regions will discover what tiers they are in on Thursday but if Kettering falls into either tier one or tier two, they will be able to welcome fans back to Latimer Park as early as the home clash with Blyth Spartans on December 5.

Poppies boss Cox said: “I would be over the moon if we could get fans back in sooner rather than later.

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“It’s probably a bit weird me saying that with the position we are in at the moment but I do think that the whole of football has missed supporters.

“There has been an erraticness throughout the whole game, not just in our league, and I think people really understand now what the supporters bring to the game.

“It’s been strange and it’s been surreal and I do think it has affected the psychology of clubs, players and managers with not having them in stadiums.

“They’ve tried artificial noise but there’s nothing that can replace the roar of supporters when you score a goal and the adrenaline rush it gives you.

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“I would be delighted if we can get fans back in at the earliest opportunity, even if they are going to give me stick! If it does happen, it will be really good.”

Kettering find themselves at the foot of the table with just one win to show from their five league matches so far and they head into this evening’s game on the back of three defeats in a row.

But Guiseley have endured an equally tough start, making it an important clash at Latimer Park.

The Poppies will have new striker Ashanti Pryce available for the first time but Ben Milnes serves a one-match suspension.

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And Cox confirmed he remains hopeful of adding more new faces to the squad.

“Hopefully we are going to get a run of games where we aren’t being interrupted and we can maybe put a bit of rhythm into our performances,” he added.

“We know where we are, we know what we have to do and hopefully we can get the opportunity to implement some of the things we have been talking about with the boys.

“Ashanti has got a good background. He has been with us for a couple of weeks on trial and he’s shown great promise in and around the training environment and now we want to see that in a game situation.

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“Hopefully he will hit the ground running but I am also wary that it can take players a bit of time to settle in. It gives us another option.

“Over the next 24 to 48 hours there could be some further movement. We are working really hard to bolster the squad to add a bit more depth.

“We are going to be hitting Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday for a long spell so we have to make sure we cater for injuries and suspensions.”

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