Poppies boss Doyle ready for another tough test

Ashley Talbot is set to play in goal for Kettering Town again tonight as they head to AFC Totton
Ashley Talbot is set to play in goal for Kettering Town again tonight as they head to AFC Totton

Weather permitting, Kettering Town head to AFC Totton in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division tonight.

And manager Alan Doyle insists he can’t ask for anything more in terms of passion and commitment of his Poppies side.

Kettering were on the end of a controversial decision at the weekend as a dubious penalty proved to be the different between them and high-flying Stourbridge, who claimed a 1-0 win at Steel Park.

And, as they prepare for the trip to Southampton to take on Totton, who have lost just once on their own ground in the league this season, Doyle has challenged his players to get through the rest of the month and ensure they are still in a position to put together a last-ditch attempt to save themselves from the drop.

Kettering are now 14 points from safety following the weekend’s results and the Poppies boss said: “There are certainly no problems in terms of the effort and desire of the lads, I think that is clear.

“But our biggest problem against Stourbridge was that we struggled to create anything.

“To be honest, the heavy pitches at the moment don’t really suit the way we want to play. But it is up to us to adjust to the conditions.

“Totton are very similar to a lot of sides in the league. They are very much up and down. They were beaten 6-0 at Chesham the week after they beat the leaders Hemel Hempstead.

“It is another hard game in a very tough month for us because we are coming up against a lot of sides who are challenging at the top.

“We just have to keep chipping away and see what we can get from these matches. When we get to February and March we get into a run of games that look more winnable so hopefully we can be in a position to take those on.”

Doyle looks set to name an unchanged squad for tonight’s clash with Ashley Talbot likely to play in goal again after he replaced Yannick Nlate at the 11th hour on Saturday when the number one was injured in the warm-up.