Pressure is on Royston insists Poppies boss Baillie

Kettering Town Thomas Baillie talks to midfielder James Jepson. Picture by Peter Short
Kettering Town Thomas Baillie talks to midfielder James Jepson. Picture by Peter Short

Kettering Town joint-boss Thomas Baillie believes the pressure is all on his side’s opponents in tomorrow’s Evo-Stik Division One Central clash.

The Poppies entertain Royston Town at Latimer Park in a game that sees two of the pre-season title favourites go head to head.

However, while Kettering sit proudly at the top of the table, things have gone differently for their rivals.

Royston currently sit in seventh and come into the match on the back of a 1-0 loss to Uxbridge in midweek.

Points are obviously much needed for the home side. But Baillie feels they are absolutely essential for the visitors.

“At the start of the season I thought it would be between us, Bedworth, Rugby and Royston at the top,” he said.

“They have a lot of players on contract and they are already a bit adrift of where they would want to be.

“It’s a big game for us, but it is probably bigger for them.

“A win will put us 20 points ahead of them and, although they have a game in hand, it would leave them with a lot of work to do to catch us up.

“They would be seven wins behind us and, to be honest, I can’t see us losing another seven games this season let alone losing seven more than them.

“They have to try to beat us.

“I know I wouldn’t want to be 20 poits behind Kettering.”

Baillie’s team are five points ahead of second-placed Bedworth with a game in hand and are sitting pretty with the halfway point of the campaign approaching.

And while he is happy with the way things have gone, he does not feel there is any chance of his side easing off.

He added: “So far we have been averaging 2.4 points a game and that is the sort of return that wins you leagues.

“I don’t think anyone could ask for more than we have done so far.

“But there will be no resting on our laurels.

“There will be plenty of twists and turns in the second half of the season so we need to perform and continue to perform.

“We have put together a great squad of players and they all have the right attitude to be here.

“A lot of good players have left the club because they don’t fit in with what we are trying to do.

“It’s very easy to attract players to Kettering.

“We are an attractive club to join but just because you are getting in good players doesn’t mean it will always work.

“You have to find the right mix of players that fit into the philosophy of the team and we have that at the moment.

“They are a great bunch of lads and the attitude is right so they pull each other along.”