Baillie desperate for Poppies to get playing again

Poppies midfielder Tommy Hull will miss this weekend's trip to North Greenford United as he begins a two-match ban
Poppies midfielder Tommy Hull will miss this weekend's trip to North Greenford United as he begins a two-match ban

Thomas Baillie’s only wish for this weekend is that Kettering Town’s clash at North Greenford United goes ahead tomorrow (Saturday).

The Poppies’ home clash with Egham Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Latimer Park.

And Kettering’s inactivity over the past week has resulted in a shift of power at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division Central table.

Aylesbury followed up a 2-0 success at Potters Bar Town last weekend with a 1-0 win over Daventry Town on Tuesday.

Those victories were enough to send them top of the pile by a point from the Poppies, who have two games in hand.

It’s the first time since August that Kettering haven’t sat on top of the table and Baillie believes that fact should be enough to get his players focused, if they weren’t already.

But the joint-boss insists the main priority is to get his team playing again and he hopes that can happen this weekend, even though struggling North Greenford haven’t staged a home game since December 16.

“We are all ready and desperate for the game to go ahead,” Baillie said.

“We know what we have got to do but until we play a game, there’s not a lot we can do.

“I know everyone is focused on the job but, given what has happened with us being knocked off the top this week, if anyone wasn’t focused beforehand then they certainly will be now.

“I don’t mind the situation we now find ourselves in.

“There has been a lot of hype with people saying we will romp away and win the league, none of which has come from within the staff.

“We know the challenge that is in front of us and we have to rise to that challenge.

“And, as one of the joint-managers, it is my job to ensure we do just that – from the managers, to the players and the backroom staff.

“We would love to be clear at the top but leagues don’t work that way and, with the pitch we have got, it was probably always going to be the case that we would have to play catch-up at some point.

“But there will be no excuses on our part, we have a good squad and it is time for everybody to rise to the occasion.”

Saturday’s clash sees the Poppies take on a North Greenford side, who sit second from bottom in the table.

And, with matches against three more of the bottom four in the four games that follow the weekend, Baillie knows his team must take advantage.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, we have to got to take advantage of the games we have coming up,” he added.

“I have full confidence in our squad whether we are playing teams in the top five or the bottom five.”

Tommy Hull is waiting to begin a two-match ban but the Poppies, otherwise, should be at full-strength.