Andy Peaks is keen to ensure AFC Rushden & Diamonds don’t suffer another exit from a knockout competition this weekend.
Diamonds’ run in the Emirates FA Cup was halted last Saturday when their injury-plagued squad were beaten 3-0 at Ryman League Premier Division side Hendon in the third qualifying round.
However, while boss Peaks admits that loss “still hurts”, he is urging his team to bounce back in front of their own fans when they begin their FA Trophy campaign.
Diamonds take on Histon in the preliminary round at the Dog & Duck tomorrow (Saturday).
The Stutes have had a miserable start to their Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central season having recorded just one point from their nine matches so far, although they beat Cambridge City in a penalty shoot-out in the Southern League Challenge Cup on Monday night.
Diamonds’ own league campaign in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South has been somewhat stop-start due to their FA Cup run.
That resumes with a home clash against Sheffield FC next weekend.
But, for the time being, Peaks is solely focused on his team getting over their FA Cup defeat in the best way possible.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Peaks said.
“And the main reason for that is because there is still a lot of disappointment about what happened last weekend.
“The defeat at Hendon hurt and it still hurts now because I think circumstances got the better of us.
“But even with the injury problems, I believe we missed an opportunity.
“But it has only made us more determined to bounce back and that’s why we are looking forward to tomorrow.
“It’s another cup competition. We went out of the FA Cup last weekend and we were beaten at Kettering in the county cup so I don’t want to go out of another one.
“We want to get back into a winning habit and Histon have had a terrible start to their league season.
“But they had a good win in their Southern League Cup this week and that will give them confidence.
“We will be ready for them and hopefully we can make sure we get over last weekend’s disappointment quickly.”
The winners of Saturday’s tie will entertain Northern Premier League Premier Division side Coalville Town in the first qualifying round on October 29.
Diamonds are set to include Jason Lee in their squad after the defender re-signed for the club yesterday.