Emulating last season remains the aim for Diamonds
Andy Peaks insists his main aim for AFC Rushden & Diamonds is still to emulate what they achieved in their first season in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central.
There have been no real signs of ‘second season syndrome’ for Diamonds and their fine run of form since the turn of the year has catapulted them into the play-off places after they moved into the top five following last weekend’s comfortable 3-0 home win over rock-bottom Redditch United.
Peaks led his team to a ninth-placed finish in their first campaign at Step 3 and with Diamonds being without a game this weekend, it has given the manager a chance to take stock.
“We have got ourselves in quite a nice position and now, with a little break, it’s a chance to have a look at the overall picture and I am quite happy,” the Diamonds boss said.
“We have got lots of big games coming up and this is going to be a massive month for us, just like we said January would be.
“I said that by the end of January I wanted to be in and around it and we are so I have got to be happy with that.
“I keep looking at where we finished last year and my aim was always to try to emulate last season and that is still the target.
“There are going to be ups and downs for us and everyone else between now and the end of the season but as long as we stay in the mix then I will be happy.”
The ‘massive month’ Peaks referred to is spot on.
Diamonds will be back in action next Tuesday night when they take on Peterborough Sports, who are currently in second place, at Hayden Road.
And that is followed by clashes against title contenders Tamworth and fellow play-off chasers Coalville Town and Rushall Olympic to close out the month.
“We will watch some games over the weekend but we have to make sure we are ready for a big game next Tuesday,” Peaks added.
“I have been to watch Peterborough two or three times already this year, mainly to look at teams we were due to be playing.
“So I have seen them first-hand and they are a good side and very good going forward.
“We will have to be at our best to get anything out of it and that goes for the games that follow it as well because we are up against teams who are right up there.”