AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks says his side can handle the pressure of topping the Premier Division table.
Last week’s 1-1 draw with second-placed Holbeach keeps Diamonds top on goal difference with a game in hand heading into Saturday’s match at Sleaford Town.
Peaks said: “When teams go top everyone wants to beat them.
“But because we are a big club at this level everyone wants to beat us anyway.
“Whether we are top of the table or bottom everyone raises their game because they want to beat Rushden & Diamonds.
“So being top of the table doesn’t bring us any added pressure.
“The pressure is always there when you play for a well-known club like Rushden.
“I have plenty of boys in the team who have won leagues, so I believe we are well equipped.
“Last season, we had games in hand on the top two or three, dropped silly points and missed out.
“This season we are right in the mix and I would much rather be top and have other teams chasing us.”
Diamonds went to the summit by claiming 16 points from a possible 18 in October and scoring 26 goals.
Peaks admits his side’s goal-den touch deserted them against Holbeach last week, but says he still takes plenty of positives from the game.
He said: “We definitely had enough chances to win the game.
“I think a fair score probably would have been 6-2.
“We played some good football, but our finishing let us down.
“The match showed we are more than capable of competing with the title favourites and that’s a confidence boost for everyone.”
Peaks has done his homework on Saturday’s opponents.
He had Sleaford watched in their 3-1 win at Cogenhoe last week and said: “They are a typical, hard-working, well-organised UCL team.”