James Jennings can’t wait to face a few old friends when Kettering Town head to Cambridge United tonight.
The left-sided player departed the Elgood’s Arena for the Abbey Stadium during the summer and his move is still subject to a tribunal after the two clubs were unable to agree a fee.
Nonetheless, Jennings has settled in well across the Cambridgeshire border and he is looking forward to taking on some of his former team-mates in what is a big games for both sides this evening.
The Poppies sacked manager Lee Harper yesterday following their poor start to the new Blue Square Bet Premier and are in the bottom four.
But, somewhat surprisingly, Cambridge are one of the sides in reach.
And Jennings admitted he is surprised to see both clubs struggling in the early stages.
“Kettering are similar to us because, on paper, we both have good squads and would expect to be higher up the table,” he said.
“I can’t speak for Kettering but from our point of view we haven’t done that well away from home so far.
“But it’s still very early days.
“It can sometimes take time for things to come together and for a team to get that consistency they are looking for. I am sure both sides will come good.
“I am really looking forward to the game.
“I am enjoying it here and it was a big decision to come to Cambridge because I was fine at Kettering.
“But I got offered a deal I couldn’t really turn down.
“I only had the one season at Kettering but I got on really well with all the lads there.
“I know the vast majority of them are still there and I have been chatting to one or two of them ahead of the game.
“I am sure there will be a bit of banter going around during the game, I certainly expect a bit off Andre Boucaud. It will be good to see them all again.
“I will speak to them before the game and after it but during the 90 minutes it is strictly business and I am sure they will feel the same.
“You have to be a professional and both teams will be desperate to win.”
It will certainly be a tough ask for the Poppies if they are to get a victory their manager and fans need.
Cambridge haven’t been beaten on their own ground since January 23 – a run of 13 matches.
Four of those have been this season with their latest win being a 5-0 thrashing of Gateshead.
And Jennings, who opened his account for the U’s with a free-kick in the 2-0 home success over Eastbourne Borough earlier in the season, is hoping his team can continue their impressive record at the Abbey Stadium.
“It’s a good ground to play at,” he added.
“We get decent support at home and I think that helps.
“Our home form has been much better than it has been on the road in the early stages and the fans have played a big part.
“We need to get ourselves up the division as soon as possible.
“We won our last game at home 5-0 so I am sure the supporters will be expecting another good display.
“And we will be determined to put on another good performance for them.”
Jennings was an impressive performer for the Poppies during his only season with the club.
He scored three goals in 37 appearances for Kettering.