BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower has lauded the older heads in his squad, saying they can help out his young stars as they face a vital bottom-of-the table clash at Kettering Town in the Vanarama National League North tomorrow.

Experienced defender Ryan Cresswell left the club on Tuesday, but Bower can still trust in the likes of captain Keith Lowe, Adam Nowakowski and Billy Priestley.

Bower said: “Since I came in, Ryan’s not been playing and we thought it may be best if he moved elsewhere. He’s been fine with me throughout and I wish him well.

“You’ve got to have some experience though and we’ve got that with our captain Keith Lowe, who only won promotion from the National League two years ago (with Macclesfield Town).

“Adam Nowakowski has come back in and we’ve also got Billy Priestley, who’s an experienced National League North player.

“At the minute, it’s about having that blend. We have some good young players like Lewis Knight, Alex Hurst and Brad Dockerty, and the experience of others will help them and the team.

“We’re not where we want to be right now but the end product was never going to be there after three weeks.

“It took us 18 months to two years to get it right last time I was here, so for now we’ve just got to keep squeezing out results.”

Squeezing out a result against Kettering would be most welcome. The hosts are the only team below Avenue in the table and Bower said: “We don’t want to lose, as we’ll fall to the bottom.

“If we win it’s a boost and if we lose it’s a blow, but the result won’t define our season at this stage. They’ve got a new manager (former Guiseley boss Paul Cox) so they’re a bit of an unknown quantity as we don’t know how they’ll set up.

“But we’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We did really well at home to Hereford, we were unfortunate at Gloucester (City) and we were in the game for an hour against Southport.

“We’ve got to take our chances against Kettering in key moments though, as this result probably has a bit more significance than the others so far.”

Chances were not taken in the 3-0 defeat to Southport at Horsfall last Saturday, with Bower admitting that the Merseysiders’ quality and experience told in the end.

He felt the scoreline flattered them slightly though, and he was relieved one of his players escaped the match unscathed too.

Asked about his team selection for tomorrow, Bower said: “We’re looking fine. Josh Heaton was the victim of a woeful challenge against Southport but luckily he’s just suffered bruising.

“A few players have the odd niggle, with us having had so many games, but we should pretty much have a full squad this weekend.”