Players must stay level, says Kettering Town boss Cox

The Poppies will be looking to maintain their good form when they head to Bradford (Park Avenue) at the weekend

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 8:55 am
The Kettering Town players celebrate their third goal in last weekend's 3-0 home win over Curzon Ashton. Picture by Peter Short
The Kettering Town players celebrate their third goal in last weekend's 3-0 home win over Curzon Ashton. Picture by Peter Short

Paul Cox insists his Kettering Town players must continue to respect every game and every opponent as they bid to maintain their good run of form of late.

The Poppies head to lowly Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday having won three of their last four games, the latest success being a 3-0 victory over Curzon Ashton at Latimer Park last weekend courtesy of two goals from Callum Powell and one from George Cooper.

The win sent Kettering into eighth place in the Vanarama National League North and to within just one point of the play-off positions.

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But Cox is determined to ensure his players “don’t get above their station” and he is wary of this weekend’s trip to Bradford, who sit in 19th place in the table.

“I have watched a number of their games and they have some good players,” the Poppies manager said.

“It’s very tight in this league. From top to bottom, it really comes down to the one per cents in the games.

“It’s another challenge for us. It’s a 3G pitch but we train on 3G pitches most weeks. It’s a lot different from our own pitch.

“But it’s exciting. I don’t want the boys to get above their station. I want them to stay level and treat every game with the same respect.

“We are in a good frame of mind but we have to be respectful of the fact that it could all go out of the window tomorrow.

“We have to work even harder and I am looking for the boys to maintain that mental strength that has got us through difficult periods in the games just recently.”

Cox is hopeful defender Chris Smith will be available for Saturday’s game after he was withdrawn early on in the win over Curzon but fellow centre-half Luke Ward looks set to miss out again due to the “nasty” ankle injury he suffered in the 1-0 defeat at Brackley Town.

“I don’t think Luke is going to be available,” Cox added.

“He is a young lad and you’d expect him to recover quite quickly but it was a nasty one with his ankle.

“The physio is working around the clock with him to get him back.

“I felt sorry for him because he got back in the side that night and he was playing well in the game when it happened.

“With Smithy, I think we got him off quickly enough. He didn’t pull his hamstring but he was complaining of a bit of tightness in there.

“He has been exceptional of late, he’s been very solid. We have our fingers crossed for him as far as Saturday is concerned.”

Cox gave a number of players and trialists a run-out in a 5-3 friendly win at Grantham Town on Tuesday night.

The Poppies boss made two signings ahead of last weekend with defender Kevin Joshua making his debut against Curzon after joining on loan from West Bromwich Albion while Irish striker Michael Conlon was also added to the ranks.

Conlon scored twice in Tuesday’s friendly victory with Isaac Stones also on target along with two trialists.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed this week that forward Claudio Ofosu has left Latimer Park and has now signed for league rivals Spennymoor Town.