Baillie wants Poppies to go about their business quietly

Poppies joint-boss Thomas Baillie
Poppies joint-boss Thomas Baillie
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Thomas Baillie believes Kettering Town are simply “going about our business quietly”.

The Poppies head to AFC Hayes tomorrow (Saturday) as they return to Southern League Division One Central duty having made safe progress through the preliminary round of the FA Cup with a 4-1 success at Cogenhoe United last weekend.

But, for the next few days, the focus is switched back to the league with a home clash against St Ives Town quickly following next Tuesday.

The Poppies currently sit on top of the early standings having picked up five wins from their six league matches so far.

Hayes, on the other hand, are still chasing their first victory and are rock-bottom.

Some might say that makes the weekend’s task a straightforward one.

But joint-boss Baillie is having none of it and he insists Kettering must focus only on themselves as they look to pick up more points.

“Hayes had a very good win in the FA Cup on Tuesday when they won 4-0,” he said.

“And it is usually the case that the teams at the bottom will be the ones who trip you up.

“What we have to do is make sure our own house is in order on Saturday.

“We are happy with going about our business quietly and I think we have done that so far.

“We want six points from the next two matches. It certainly won’t be easy but if we prepare properly then we will give ourselves a chance.”

Baillie, meanwhile, hinted that changes could be made to the Poppies’ starting line-up again with two games coming in quick succession.

Kettering were able to rest captain Steve Kinniburgh and midfielder Andy Gooding at Compton Park last weekend.

Both are set to come back into the reckoning while Ash Robinson, Jon Bukasa and Alfie Taylor will all be pushing for another start after impressive in the FA Cup.

It all leaves Baillie and fellow joint-manager Scott Machin with something of a dilemma.

And Baillie added: “We will look at it again but there is the opportunity to mix things up.

“It is up to us to manage the squad properly.

“We have two games in quick succession and we may look at resting a couple so we know we are fresh for Tuesday night as well.

“That is something we will assess but in every game we play, we will pick the team that we feel can win.”

Dubi Ogbonna is set to be fit for this weekend’s clash after an ankle injury but it is unclear whether defender Henry Eze and midfielder Ross Oulton will be involved after they were subject to seven-day approaches from King’s Lynn Town and Daventry Town respectively this week.