Baillie staying calm as Poppies face being knocked off the top

Kettering Town joint-manager Thomas Baillie
Kettering Town joint-manager Thomas Baillie

Thomas Baillie insists there is “no nervousness” in the Kettering Town camp as they face the prospect of being overtaken at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies were left kicking their heels at the weekend as their clash with Egham Town being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Latimer Park.

It gave their rivals a chance to close in on them and they all took full advantage with Aylesbury, Bedworth United and Rugby Town all winning.

Aylesbury can take over at the summit this evening as a win over Daventry Town will put them a point clear, albeit from two games more.

Kettering, who have led from the front since the end of August, are due to return to action at struggling North Greenford United on Saturday as they look to get back on track following a return of just four points from the last four matches.

While a sense of panic seems to have set in amongst a minority of fans over social media with their team’s lead, which was once as big as eight points, beginning to disappear, joint-boss Baillie is choosing to stay focused on the job at hand.

And he has again reiterated the fact that no-one within the Latimer Park dressing-room ever believed achieving automatic promotion would be an easy task.

He said: “Fans will be fans and there is a lot more said about Kettering than any other club, simply because our fanbase is so much bigger than every other team in the division.

“We never ever felt we were going to walk this league, there are teams in there like Rugby and Aylesbury who have very good players and they are doing well.

“But there is no nervousness on our part. When people talk about six-point or eight-point leads, it’s very easy to get carried away with the hype.

“Scott and I have not got carried away once and we have tried to ensure that the players haven’t either.

“If we are a point behind with two games in hand after tonight then so be it. We know the job that’s in front of us and we know what we have to do.

“We want to play matches and while we aren’t, there isn’t a great deal we can do.

“If we have to play catch-up, so be it. Without a shadow of a doubt, the footballers we have here are better suited to playing on firmer pitches so perhaps that might help us later on.

“We don’t really want to have the games in hand but we won’t be the only ones and you just have to get on with it. There certainly won’t be any excuses on our part.”