Boss Harriman says Diamonds have to concentrate on themselves

AFC Rushden & Diamonds player-boss Michael HarrimanAFC Rushden & Diamonds player-boss Michael Harriman
AFC Rushden & Diamonds player-boss Michael Harriman
​New boss Michael Harriman says AFC Rushden & Diamonds will 'focus on ourselves' as they prepare for Saturday's massive relegation clash with Rugby Town at Hayden Road (ko 3pm).

Diamonds host the team directly above them in the Pitching-In Northern Premier League Midlands Division, knowing a win will see them climb off the bottom.

Rugby are second bottom and have six points to their name, three more than Diamonds, who on Saturday slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Sutton Coldfield.

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That match was the second in temporary charge for Harriman and Tom Lorraine, but Harriman will now be in sole charge of affairs after being appointed player-manager on Tuesday evening. Lorraine is his assistant.

The clash with Rugby offers Diamonds the chance to breathe life into their season, as they know a win will see them leapfrog their visitors on goal difference.

Rugby are struggling and on Saturday slipped to a sixth successive defeat, but Harriman insists Saturday's match is all about what he and his players do.

"We are going to focus on ourselves," said the player-boss.

"Fundamentally we have to do what is best for us, and we will talk to the boys, we will get the heart rate up, we'll get the heads up and we will get them firing for the weekend.

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"We can only control what we do, and as long as the players keep giving us 100 per cent then the results will soon turn.

"We have two big games at home now and I think we have to bounce into them full of confidence and just go out there and give it everything."

Loan striker Dylan Edge missed the trip to Sutton but is expected to be available at the weekend, with Rushden also looking at the possibility of extending the work experience loans of Northampton Town teenagers Reuben Wyatt and Jacob Scott.

Both impressed at Sutton Coldfield, and although the initial agreement was for them to help Rushden out for one weekend, Harriman is keen to see if that can be extended.

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"Initially they were coming in just to help us for this week, but we will go back now and discuss that," said the former Cobblers defender.

"I think both of them were really good. The first game in men's football is a tough step up, but they didn't look out of place and it is something we will look at.”

Diamonds will also be boosted this weekend by the return of Will Glennon to Hayden Road – for one match only.

Glennon left Rushden earlier this month to make the switch to Southern League Premier Central side Stamford, but he is unable to play in their FA Trophy clash at City Of Liverpool on Saturday as he is cup tied.

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That being the case, Stamford have agreed to Glennon returning to help out Diamonds in the clash with Rugby in a one-match loan.

The south Lincolnshire club posted on X: “Due to Will being cup tied with AFC Rushden & Diamonds, he is unavailable for Saturday’s clash. Therefore he will be returning to help @AFCRD for one game this weekend.”