Tweaks are needed as Kettering Town look to get back on track

Having suffered back-to-back 3-0 defeats, the Poppies return to Latimer Park this weekend to take on old rivals Boston United

By Jon Dunham
Friday, 3rd December 2021, 7:15 am
Paul Cox will be hoping his Kettering Town team can bounce back this weekend. Picture by Peter Short
Paul Cox will be hoping his Kettering Town team can bounce back this weekend. Picture by Peter Short

John Ramshaw believes some changes are needed as Kettering Town bid to get things back on track this weekend.

To say the Poppies have been a bit hit and miss over the past few weeks is something of an understatement.

November delivered a 4-0 home win over Blyth Spartans and a superb 2-1 success at York City but Paul Cox’s team also suffered 3-1 losses to Darlington and Chorley at home and away respectively.

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But it’s the last two matches that will cause the biggest concern with the victory at York being followed by back-to-back 3-0 defeats as the Poppies were beaten at Gloucester City in the FA Trophy last weekend before going down to Hereford in the league in midweek.

They sit in 14th place in the Vanarama National League North table with 18 points from 13 games - about as middle of the road as it gets.

Kettering are now gearing up for a tough home clash with old rivals Boston United, who sit in sixth place, this weekend.

And assistant-manager Ramshaw feels some tweaks are needed to get the Poppies back on the right course, although he admits financial restraints continue to make the task a bit trickier.

“Against York we pressed them high, we never let them settle on the ball and we came away with a great win,” Ramshaw said.

“On Saturday and on Tuesday night, we didn’t press. It’s as if players didn’t want to run.

“There will be changes. It’s something the gaffer (Cox) and I have to address and rectify.

“There will be people who want to reflect our attitude towards hard work out on the pitch.

“We are not a club that is blessed with some of the marvellous resources other teams in our league have.

“We have what we have got and we have to mould the team into our image and that means going out there and working hard.

“We will be looking to make changes but when you’re on limited resources it’s not always possible.”

Tomorrow's (Saturday) home clash with the Pilgrims will bring an end to a tough run of four away matches in a row, which have included long midweek trips to Chorley and Hereford.

And while Ramshaw stopped short of using it as an excuse, he admitted those lengthy midweek journeys do make preparation that bit harder.

“It will be lovely to get back home,” he added.

“I think myself and the manager have talked a lot about how important our fans are to us and there was a good little contingent who followed us to Hereford on Tuesday.

“We have had a run of away games and, there’s no doubt about it, it takes its toll.

“On Tuesday, we left at 2.30pm which means some of the lads had to finish work early or dash to places straight from work, which causes a bit of stress because you never want to be late.

“I think it does affect your preparation in a negative way and it was a big ask to send us to Hereford on a Tuesday night, especially when both teams have a free Saturday on December 18.

“I don’t think people realise how much these trips take out of players, they will have been shattered on Wednesday and they will have been shattered yesterday when we are training.

“It’s fine if you’re a full-time team and you can have days off but it’s been an exhausting few weeks for our boys.”