AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks firmly believes his team have got what it takes to keep their Emirates FA Cup hopes alive this weekend.
Diamonds are once again on the road against higher-ranked opposition as they make the trip to take on Ryman League Premier Division side Hendon in Saturday’s third qualifying round tie.
Diamonds picked up the best result in the club’s history with a 3-1 success at National League South side Concord Rangers in the last round and Peaks is hoping his team can upset the odds yet again.
They have been hit by a crippling injury list in recent weeks and the likes of Jack Ashton, Ross Oulton, Sam Brown, Lewis Leslie, Nic Evangelinos, Joe Curtis and Jon Stevenson all missed Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Romulus – Diamonds’ third successive draw in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.
Peaks will assess his injured players again this evening (Thursday) but he believes whatever team is picked will have a good chance of matching last season’s efforts in the competition when they reached the fourth qualifying round.
“There is a chance for some of them and we will have a look at them all tonight,” the Diamonds boss said.
“Whatever happens, we will go there with a team that is capable of getting a result.
“We are going to have to be at our best because they are a level up and it’s on their 4G pitch so they should be used to that.
“The odds are stacked against us but they were in the last round.
“For me, it’s another bonus game but I have loads of belief in us and if we play to our capabilities then we will give them a very good game.
“We aren’t a team that can sit there and soak the pressure up.
“We will go there with a game plan. We have watched them, they have good players and we will respect that. But we will certainly be looking to win the game.”