Diamonds can stay in the mix if standards are maintained
Andy Peaks has no doubts that AFC Rushden & Diamonds can remain in the hunt for a play-off place as long as they maintain their high standards.
Diamonds have the opportunity to make it an incredible 20 Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South matches without defeat when they take on Kidsgrove Athletic at the Dog & Duck on Saturday.
It is a run of form that has taken Peaks’ team into the play-off places at the halfway stage of their league campaign as they bid to go one better following their heartbreaking defeat to St Ives Town in the Southern League Division One Central final last season.
Peaks has created something of a success story since he became the Diamonds manager.
He knows there is still room for improvement, not least in their home form.
But he insists any success this season will depend on everyone maintaining the high standards he sets for himself and his staff.
“We are aware that our home form needs to be better but, as I have said before, as long as we are winning games away from home then it will level itself out,” the Diamonds boss said.
“But we would like to be scoring more goals and picking up more points at home because that is where the majority of our fans watch us.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I set high standards for myself, my staff and the players.
“And the truth is, if they drop below them then they won’t be around for long.
“We have not dropped below those standards very often in the years I have been here and we are going along well again this season.
“If we maintain our standards then it will put us in a position to challenge for a play-off place.”
Peaks, meanwhile, believes Tuesday’s 3-1 victory at Rugby Town shows he does not need to rush his injured players back.
The likes of Nabil Shariff, Fazel Koriya and Jake Newman all missed the Integro League Cup second-round tie but two goals from Ben Farrell and one from Taylor Orosz secured a comfortable victory.
“We will assess those three boys and see where they are but they weren’t ready on Tuesday,” Peaks added.
“It gives them a bit longer to rest up but the boys who came into the team in midweek showed that there is a bit of depth to our squad, which is something we have wanted.
“It means we don’t have to rush people back from injuries, which is really important.”