Poppies boss Cox content with 'another point ticked off'

Paul Cox issued another timely reminder of how far Kettering Town have come in the past few months after they battled out a goalless draw with Hereford at Latimer Park.

Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 11:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 11:48 am
Kettering Town manager Paul Cox on the sidelines during the 0-0 draw with Hereford. Picture by Peter Short

Neither side could find a breakthrough in a tight encounter with Paul White making a fine save to deny Rowan Liburd in the second half before the Poppies almost won it late on when Dan Nti struck the post.

The stalemate was Kettering’s fourth draw in a row and they are now without a win in six Vanarama National League North matches and have scored just two goals in the same period.

And while Cox knows his team need to be better in the final third, he was pleased with another point on the board which moved them nine clear of the relegation zone.

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“We came up against a good team with some good players and Hereford are a big club who were on the back of two fabulous results by going away to York and hitting four and then winning at Farsley Celtic,” the Poppies boss said.

“We shouldn’t feel downbeat. I know people will point towards the goalscoring and say that’s a problem but it can even be an issue for clubs who can afford the best goalscorers.

“We are going around with a cap in hand at the moment, asking to borrow players.

“For the forward boys, the more things go like that, the more it can affect your psychology and you start doubting yourself. Sometimes you just need that bit of luck.

“But you have to make your own luck. I am not going to make excuses and no-one is going to feel sorry for us and give anything to us. We have to work harder in and around the box and we have got to be ruthless.

“The pleasing thing was that the longer the game went on, we looked more concentrated and we kept our shape well against a good side.

“I could moan because it’s another game where you could look back and feel sorry for yourself.

“But it’s another point ticked off and while we keep picking them up, we move ever closer to our goal.

“People have to remember that when we came in, we were dead and buried.

“I don’t think people realise how bad the situation was. The psychology of the team and the club was that of a relegation mindset.

“We are still scratching away to get the job done and hopefully we can complete that and then look forward to future years.”

The clash was only given the go ahead following a lunchtime inspection of the Latimer Park pitch, which was once again very heavy for the match.

And Cox believes his players deserve credit for giving their all to try to get a positive result in the tricky conditions.

“We are having to play some percentage football on our own pitch and I don’t think that suits a lot of our players,” he added.

“But when I look at the bigger picture, it makes me even prouder.

“I could have a go at the boys but they are trying to alter their own technical ability to try to get us a result on a tough surface at home.

“That’s pleasing and I can’t put enough praise on the boys because they are working really hard.

“Everyone knows they are in for a game against us now. But we just need to polish it now and add on the things that we are missing.”