Burgess wants AFC Rushden & Diamonds focused on the job as Peaks returns

Diamonds are set to go up against their former manager at Hayden Road this weekend

Andy Burgess says AFC Rushden & Diamonds must “keep away from the nostalgia” as Andy Peaks makes his return to Hayden Road tomorrow (Saturday).

Peaks left Diamonds to join Tamworth last month and will be back to face the club he spent 10 years at as assistant-manager and then manager as he helped guide Diamonds up to the Southern League Premier Central.

Burgess was appointed as interim manager following Peaks’ departure as he bids to keep them on course to earn a play-off place.

Andy Peaks and Neil Champelovier will be back at Hayden Road on Saturday - in the away dugout

Diamonds were beaten 2-1 at top-five rivals Peterborough Sports on Tuesday night but their fate remains firmly in their own hands with a four-point advantage over sixth-placed Alvechurch.

And Burgess is keen to ensure his team bounces back at the expense of their former manager.

“We spoke after the game about how important it is that we rebound well,” Burgess said,

“I think the team have done that throughout the season, they have always bounced back from a defeat and we need to show that mentality on Saturday.

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 2-1 defeat at Peterborough Sports on Tuesday night. Picture courtesy of Hawkins Images

“We have to keep away from the nostalgia of Andy coming back.

“I hope he gets a good reception, I’m sure he will because he did fantastically for the club and he’s obviously held in high esteem.

“But we have a job to do and we have to focus on ourselves. We have to make sure we prepare properly and give a better account of ourselves, certainly in possession and going forward.

“It’s a big game for different reasons. The landscape of the play-offs hasn’t changed too much but all we can do is concentrate on ourselves, make sure our house is in order and we will work hard and try to come out and produce a good display in front of our own fans.”