Cox wants Poppies to lay down another marker

Paul Cox has challenged the Kettering Town players to lay down another marker when they head to Guiseley tomorrow (Saturday).

Friday, 8th November 2019, 7:45 am
Paul Cox takes Kettering Town on the road for the first time this weekend as they head to his former club Guiseley. Picture by Peter Short

Cox’s reign as Poppies boss got off to a perfect start last weekend as they thrashed fellow strugglers Bradford (Park Avenue) 4-0 at Latimer Park and moved out of the relegation zone in the Vanarama National League North.

But Cox is now hoping to solve Kettering’s travel sickness issue as they have, so far, failed to win on the road since gaining promotion.

And he believes a road trip to take on a Guiseley side who are sitting pretty in the top six is a perfect chance for him to learn even more about the squad he has inherited.

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The Poppies boss said: “The lads came in and trained well this week and you could see they were buoyed by the result at the weekend. They looked sharp.

“The club’s record away from home is not good so this is another challenge for us at the weekend.

“I think last Saturday the challenge was to lay down a marker by winning the first home game under a new regime.

“Now we have to see if we can go away from home, be a bit more resolute while also asking some questions of Guiseley.

“It’s another game where I will hopefully learn even more about this group.

“One game is nothing, it can be a flash in the pan sometimes and maybe cover up some of the cracks.

“We will keep feeding the players bits of information but I am really looking forward to the game. It will give me an idea of whether we are still heading in the right direction or not because, in any league, you have to be capable of picking up points and wins away from home.”

Tomorrow's game will see Cox returning to Guiseley where he had a five-month stint as manager before being sacked.

He went on to have an 18-month break from football management before being appointed at Latimer Park last month.

And, although disappointed by the way things turned out at Guiseley, he insists a tough situation eventually turned into a positive as far as he is concerned.

When asked about him returning to his former club, Cox replied: “I think it’s irrelevant to be honest.

“Possibly, in hindsight, it was a job I shouldn’t have taken on but I did and did so when I probably needed a break from the game.

“It is a lovely little club with some great people around it but, when I was there, I think we just tried to do too much in a short space of time.

“The majority of my managerial career has been successful but I am not one to dwell on the past and I am not one to be bitter.

“It was the first job I got sacked from, in fact I think it was the first time I had been sacked from anything, and it hurt.

“But, if you speak to anyone of any experience they will tell you that you aren’t truly a manager until you’ve been sacked and I can see why people said that to me.

“People will look at that time as being a negative but I see it as a positive now. It gave me the chance to have the break and re-educate myself about the game.”