Cox: Poppies need to improve, it's as simple as that

Paul Cox insists his focus is on ensuring Kettering Town are “operating higher up the table” in the National League North next season.

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 21st May 2020, 7:37 am
Updated Thursday, 21st May 2020, 7:38 am
It's been a busy week for Kettering Town boss Paul Cox. Picture by Peter Short
It's been a busy week for Kettering Town boss Paul Cox. Picture by Peter Short

It’s been a busy week at Latimer Park with goalkeeper Paul White and midfielder Lindon Meikle turning down new deals with the club while four members of last season’s squad have now agreed fresh terms.

Club legend Brett Solkhon, Gary Stohrer, Luke Graham and Ben Milnes will be remaining with the Poppies for the next campaign while Connor Kennedy, Michael Richens and Tre Mitford are all under contract.

Boss Cox is now preparing to turn his attention towards new signings over the summer and he insists any new arrivals will be made with one target in mind - to bring a vast improvement on last season’s relegation scrap.

“Being totally frank about the situation, we have got to look at the position we found the club in and the position we finished in and that’s not good enough for Kettering,” Cox said.

“Some tough decisions were made and some offers have been taken and some haven’t but that’s the easy part.

“We need to improve, it’s as simple as that and pressure will be put on the boys who are staying.

“We are working really hard to bring good players to the club, players who have ambition to progress because we feel this club shouldn’t be hanging around in the lower reaches of the National League North.

“We will be looking to bring players in who will be putting pressure on those already here and hopefully, between them as a squad, we can look at being a bit more consistent moving forward.

“We want to be operating higher up the table rather than messing around in the relegation zone.”

Cox, meanwhile, insisted he “fully respects” the decisions of White and Meikle after they opted to turn down new deals.

Both played key roles in the Poppies’ climb back up to Step 2 with White making 159 appearances for the club and Meikle making 134, scoring 16 goals.

“This is what happens at the end of every season,” Cox added.

“I can’t speak highly enough about both players and I know the Kettering fans will feel the same because they were an integral part of the club’s success over the last two or three years.

“But it’s a time where players have to assess what’s on the table, not just financially but in terms of career path as well and they have to make that decision.

“I fully respect both players’ decisions and all we can do is wish them all the best.

“They have been brilliant to work with since I have been here and both have given 100 per cent in everything they have done.”