Peaks hopes Diamonds can get into their stride

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks hopes his team can hit their stride after four wins in a row. Picture by Mike Capps/www.kappasport.co.uk
AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks hopes his team can hit their stride after four wins in a row. Picture by Mike Capps/www.kappasport.co.uk

Andy Peaks is hoping AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ impressive turnaround in form will result in them being able to get into their “stride”.

Having kicked off the new campaign with back-to-back defeats to Newcastle Town and Chasetown, Diamonds’ season is showing signs of clicking into gear after four wins in a row in all competitions.

A 4-3 win over Sileby Rangers in the preliminary round of the FA Cup was followed by a six-point haul over the bank holiday weekend as they got their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division campaign up and running with victories against Carlton Town and Bedworth United.

Another FA Cup success followed last weekend as a 2-0 verdict over AFC Hornchurch earned them a trip to Vanarama National League South side Concord Rangers in the second qualifying round next weekend.

But Diamonds return to league action tomorrow (Saturday) with Peaks warning that they they face “one of our toughest games of the season so far” when they welcome unbeaten Gresley FC to the Dog & Duck.

But, with confidence high, the Diamonds boss is hoping his the pressure will be off his players as they look to make it five wins in a row.

“We have had a good turnaround in fortunes,” Peaks said.

“The confidence is high and the spirit is good. Success breeds success and we are in a good little run at the moment.

“We have had a full week to prepare and that has given the injured players a bit more time to get fit.

“But I think we are facing one of our toughest games of the season so far.

“Gresley are a very attacking and free-scoring team. We will certainly have to defend well both in open play and from set-pieces.

“But we are looking forward to it. I think the pressure is off to a certain extent.

“We have recovered well after losing the first two games of the season.

“We go into it off the back of four wins in a row and hopefully we can relax and really see if we can get into our stride.”

Diamonds suffered a couple of fresh injury setbacks during last weekend’s cup tie.

Kyal McNulty needed stitches after suffering a facial injury while influential defender Jack Ashton was forced off with a hamstring problem.

Peaks is expecting McNulty to be fit for Saturday’s game while Lewis Leslie is also likely to return to the squad.

Ashton has been rated as “50-50” by the manager while the match with Gresley might come a week too soon for injured duo Jake Newman (ankle) and Joe Curtis (chipped bone).