Give the players the credit, says Poppies boss Cox

Paul Cox insists the Kettering Town players “deserve all the credit” as their revival under him continued with a fine 2-1 success at Guiseley.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 7:56 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th November 2019, 8:30 pm
Joel Carta celebrates the first of his two goals as Kettering Town won 2-1 at Guiseley to pick up their first away victory of the season. Pictures by Peter Short

Joel Carta, who came into the side for the suspended Dan Nti, scored both goals either side of half-time to make it two wins in a row since Cox took charge of the club.

Kettering saw things out after Aaron Martin pulled a goal back for the hosts in stoppage-time and the victory moved them up to 19th place in the Vanarama National League North and two points clear of the relegation zone.

And while Cox was understandably impressed as Kettering recorded their first away win of the season, he once again challenged his players to raise their standards even higher.

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Paul Cox points the way during the Poppies' success at one of his former clubs

“We came up against a side who are good at home, has one of the top goalscorers in the league and who are in the play-off places so for us to go there and be resolute and play some good stuff is pleasing,” the Poppies boss said.

“To be honest, we could have been two or three up in the first half and they seemed to throw everything at us in the second half but we kept a good shape and I thought we were a bit unlucky with the goal we conceded because I felt it was a foul on Paul White.

“The players deserve all the credit. They have taken on board what we have tried to get over to them.

“They have raised their standards but I think people know me well enough by now to know that I want even more. I want that standard to go up again.

The travelling Kettering fans celebrate at the final whistle

“There are still bits and pieces both individually and collectively that we can do better.

“It was great for Joel Carta to come into the side and score two good goals but I still believe there is more to come from him both in and out of possession.

“We are probably four or five weeks ahead of schedule with individuals and the group compared to where I thought we might be and that’s down to the players.

“You need to be able to go away and show you can be resolute and pick up points and then enjoy the bus journey home.

“But I want more and now the big game for us is next week (at home against Blyth Spartans). We don’t want players resting on their laurels and thinking we have achieved something because we haven’t.

“It’s always about consistency and that’s what we have to aim for now.”

Cox, meanwhile, felt some notes featured in the official matchday programme at Guiseley “lacked class”.

Cox had a five-month spell as manager of Guiseley before being sacked and, on his return to the club, Lions chairman Gary Douglas wrote: “I must admit, as I imagine many of you are, to being rather surprised to see Paul (Cox) return to the National League. His tenure here at Guiseley was without doubt a horrid period in the club’s history.

“I have in the past written and spoken many a word on that dark period so today I look forward to seeing a great Guiseley performance to show you all how far we have move on from those dark times.

“My apologies to Kettering but I hope that today you leave with nothing.”

Cox confirmed he did read the programme ahead of the game and responded to those words by saying: “I have tried to ring Gary (Douglas) and (company secretary) Stuart (Allen) to ask them if they can explain the words to me.

“I think it lacked class. Every club I have been at, as a player or manager, I have always had good words for them and that didn’t change in the build-up to this game.

“There are some fantastic people at Guiseley who make it a great football club and when I read things like that, I just think it lacked class.

“I am not going to get pulled into it too much and I definitely don’t want it to reflect badly on the great people at Guiseley and a number of fans who wished me well both before and after the game.”