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Paul Cox insists Poppies will be big again but only after survival

Paul Cox

New Kettering Town boss Paul Cox believes they will be a Non-League big-hitters again – but insists the immediate target is nothing more than Step 2 survival.

Appointed last week to replace Nicky Eaden, the former Barrow, Eastwood Town and Mansfield Town boss, pictured, officially takes charge for the first time on Saturday when his new side host Bradford Park Avenue at Latimer Park.

It’s been a tough return to the National League North since promotion from Step 3 last season and the former Conference title winner is charged with reviving their fortunes.

Cox played more than 100 times for the club over two spells and, after a year out of management where he has observed coaches in America and at St George’s Park, is ready to dive back in.

Paul Cox

FASTER AND FITTER: Paul Cox playing for the Poppies

“I need to learn very early what’s happening because the club is rock bottom of the National League North at the minute,” Cox, 47, told The NLP on Sunday.

“There are good players there and some I’ve worked with in the past – I know Aaron O’Connor and Lindon Meikle. But there’s obviously something that isn’t quite right. That’s why they are losing more games than they are winning and are rock bottom.

“So it’s going to be a challenge, I knew that when I spoke to them. What appealed to me when speaking to the chairman and the board is there is a logical plan in place.

“I also played for Kettering – I think people have forgotten how big a club Kettering could be. I was there when we just missed out on promotion to the Football League.

“They’ve got a great fanbase, passionate supporters, and when I heard about the board’s plans it was something I wanted to get my teeth into.

“I’m not naïve that it’s going to be plain sailing. There’s hard work to be done. My remit is to keep the club in the division this year. The job is to get results to give us a platform to spring from.”

Cox believes he has joined a club filled with good people. “There’s a clarity and an honesty,” he said.

“That’s what I craved. Speaking to the board, there’s no smoke and mirrors. There’s a clarity where they want the club to be and I found them very honest people. That was the main draw for me. I want to work with good people. I see longevity in working with good people.”


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