Thomas wants Poppies to stay in the race

Kettering Town boss Dean Thomas knows his team have a crucial month coming up
Kettering Town boss Dean Thomas knows his team have a crucial month coming up
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Dean Thomas expects December to be a crucial month for Kettering Town as they bid to stay in the play-off hunt in the Calor League Division One Central.

The Poppies will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions when they take on Uxbridge at Latimer Park tomorrow (Saturday).

No fewer than seven games will follow during the final month of the year and boss Thomas knows his team will need a good return from those is they are to stay in the chasing pack.

And he is hoping they can set themselves up for a busy month with a return to winning ways at home tomorrow follwing the 1-1 draw with Beaconsfield SYCOB last weekend.

“Everyone knows that December and the Christmas period are business parts of the season,” the Kettering manager said.

“We have lots of games in the next month and you need a strong squad with plenty of competition for places. I think we have that now.

“There are teams who are beginning to pull away at the top so it is important we pick up some wins. You find that if you draw games in this division, you soon find yourselves slipping back a bit.

“It is a very important period coming up for us and it makes tomorrow’s game crucial for us. We want to set ourselves up for a busy month with a victory.”

Thomas, meanwhile, has hinted he may return to a more familiar formation for tomorrow’s clash.

The Poppies started with a 4-5-1 system in last weekend’s draw and, although they took the lead after just a minute through Louis Hamilton, they were pegged back during the second half.

The formation worked brilliantly for Kettering in the fine 3-0 success at Arlesey Town in the Red Insure Cup and Thomas admitted it may be one more suited to away days rather than in front of their own fans.

“I thought it was a good idea to stick with it after the performance at Arlesey,” Thomas added.

“We created plenty of chances in that game and I felt we could do that again. It never really worked for us though.

“So I blame myself for changing the formation because when we have been set up in a 4-4-2 in recent matches we have looked very dangerous.

“We changed things around during the second half last weekend and when we did, we looked like we might go on and win the game.

“We need to be dictating games on our home ground and we will have another look at it before tomorrow. You are always learning as a manager and I certainly learned a few things last weekend.”