Kendo wants close-knit Tigers to kick on

Worksop Town FC vs Stocksbridge PS.  Picture Jon Kennedy.  (w101121-5e).
Worksop Town FC vs Stocksbridge PS. Picture Jon Kennedy. (w101121-5e).
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TIGERS stopper Jon Kennedy had just come off the pitch on Tuesday night and he was ready to get the gloves on to face the next challenge.

The former Sunderland man told the Guardian that he and his team-mates just want to get back into regular action, after a spate of postponements due to weather.

Kennedy was beaten five times by Mansfield Town players at the New Manor Ground, in Worksop’s first defeat in 11 outings.

But he was electing to remain positive in the wake of the FA Trophy exit.

“It was a bit of a strange one, because in the first half an hour we probably shaded it, but once they got two goals in front they grew in confidence and pulled away,” he said.

“In the end we were outclassed a little, but four of the five goals came from set-pieces, two corners and two penalties, we only conceded once from open play.”

“So it wasn’t like it was backs to the wall for 90 minutes or anything like that.”

The man who Tigers sold to Sunderland for a club record in 2001 admitted the big freeze had frustrated the players, but said they were keen to get going again to challenge for promotion.

“It’s been hard to train, we’ve been in a gym and at the Sheffield United Academy whenever we can.”

“We just want to kick on now.”

“At the start of the season we were looking at the last play-off spot as a minimum achievement, and there’s no reason why we can’t do that.”

“Halifax are running away with it as most people expected, but they’re still there to be caught.”

“We have five games in hand on the likes of Colwyn Bay, so we just want to get back on the pitch and clear the backlog to climb the table.”

Having helped the club through a tough campaign last year, Kennedy is well placed to talk about how different, if at all, life is in the class of 2010/11.

“The atmosphere was really good last year between the players,” he said.

“It was just the financial aspect that took a bit of a toll on things, but as players we stuck together, and this year is the same, it’s a lot of the same lads with a few good additions.”

“They have gelled well, and we’re a close-knit group of players.”

After 11 games under the management of Martin McIntosh and his assistant Phil Thompson, Kennedy believes the squad has settled down and are confident about the duo’s expectations.

“Martin and Thommo have put their ideas across and we know what they’re looking for in every game.”

“We know where we stand, they’ve stamped their mark on the team and with this game out of the way we’re ready to move on and get back into league action.”