Caretaker-boss Westwood vows to steer clear of off-field issues

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Ashley Westwood insists he won’t be sticking his nose into the off-field issues at Kettering Town and will instead channel all his energy into the team.

The former Poppies defender became the club’s fourth different manager this season when he took on a caretaker role ahead of Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Wrexham.

Westwood will take charge of his first home game when the crisis-stricken Poppies, whose players are yet to be paid this month, take on play-off chasing Gateshead at Nene Park tonight (7.45pm).

The financial strain at the club has seen it hit with a winding-up order from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and given until February 28 to pay their football creditors or face a three-point deduction.

There appears to be no further movement as far as any proposed takeover is concerned but Westwood says he will be staying out of that and ensuring the players are ready for back-to-back home games this week.

“To be honest, I am trying to stay away from that department,” the 35-year-old said.

“I just want to really concentrate on the team and I don’t want to get involved in the other things.

“Day-by-day things will change so I won’t be coming out with any statements about what’s happening off the pitch, that will be down to the chairman (Imraan Ladak).

“It’s not in my department to be sticking my nose in and commenting on things that are going on behind the scenes.

“I know everyone is working hard to get this resolved and I believe there are options available so hopefully things will be sorted sooner rather than later.”

The Poppies remain in the bottom four of the division but Westwood believes the squad is good enough to end their 13-game run without a win and he is confident that will happen tonight.

“There are a lot of games to play and, even after seeing the boys in one game, I believe we can get some points and turn it around,” he added.

“I have spoken to four or five people about Gateshead and have managed to get quite a bit of information on them.

“We will be looking to take the game to them and it will be a bit different to what we did on Saturday.

“I am certain we will give a good account of ourselves.”