Retaining match sharpness is Poppies' main aim in friendly clash

Steve Kinniburgh and Luke Graham are set to lead Kettering Town into their friendly with Stratford Town this weekend in what is likely to be their final match before a new permanent manager is confirmed.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 8:30 am
Steve Kinniburgh

The Poppies’ hunt for a new boss looks set to end either over the weekend or at the beginning of next week with the interview process now under way.

It means that the new manager’s first game in charge will be a huge one as Kettering travel to fellow strugglers Curzon Ashton a week tomorrow.

In the meantime, the squad will still have a run out this weekend after their original Vanarama National League North clash with Altrincham was postponed due to the Robins’ continued interest in the FA Cup.

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While Graham has ruled himself out of the running for the permanent job at Latimer Park, Kinniburgh is believed to be in the frame to land the position.

But, either way, the former Corby Town boss is focused on ensuring the players retain their match sharpness against BetVictor Southern League Premier Central opposition tomorrow (Saturday).

Kettering dropped into the bottom two of the National League North after a 2-0 defeat to Spennymoor Town last weekend, a game in which on loan defender Jay Williams was sent-off in the first half.

And Kinniburgh said: “If you look at the Spennymoor game, we lost a goal early on and I think you could see there was a lack of sharpness.

“We didn’t have a game the previous week and sometimes it can take 15 to 20 minutes to really get back up to speed.

“Our problem was that by the time we did get into it, we were 1-0 down and down to 10 men and it was hard work from there.

“So it’s good to have a game this weekend and we will be looking to get 90 minutes into players who need it.

“We hope to have Joe Skarz back and playing some part after an injury, Michael McGrath is available again and needs time on the pitch and Aaron O’Connor will have hopefully recovered from his knock as well.

“So there are some bodies to come back in and I would think we will have a look at a couple of trialists as well.”

The friendly with Stratford is being played at Latimer Park and fans will be able to ‘pay what they want’ at the turnstiles.