Marcus Law knows his Kettering Town team must be “at it” as they enter what looks set to be the toughest month of their season.
It all starts with a trip to take on King’s Lynn Town tomorrow (Saturday), which is then followed by the huge local derby with fourth-placed AFC Rushden & Diamonds at Latimer Park on New Year’s Day.
The Poppies are set to face five of the current top 10 in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central in their next eight matches, culminating in a clash at current leaders Stourbridge on January 26.
Kettering are four points behind the Glassboys with three games in hand but head to The Walks this weekend on the back of what Law described as an “awful” performance despite them picking up a 2-1 success at Bedworth United on Boxing Day.
Having started the season like a runaway train, the Poppies haven’t been convincing of late.
They will start 13 points clear of King’s Lynn tomorrow but the Linnets, who have Ian Culverhouse back in charge, are unbeaten in their last 14 matches, a run that stretches back to the middle of September.
And Law is fully aware of the importance of the run of games his team are about to enter as they bid to maintain their promotion push.
“We are entering a hard time between now and the end of January,” the Poppies manager said.
“The run of matches we have in front of us is extremely challenging and we have got to make sure we are at it.
“Winning is not always the be-all and end-all but losing is a non-entity as far as I am concerned.
“We know it is going to be very difficult at King’s Lynn. They are rejuvenated under Ian Culverhouse and they are tactically astute, we are aware of that.
“We have suffered against them on their ground in the past but I am also mindful that this will be a totally different environment to the one we were in on Boxing Day.
“I think we have some players who have been in front of big and intimidating crowds before and it will be crucial that they rise to the occasion.
“It’s a big game and we are really looking forward to it. These are the games you want.”