Important six weeks ahead for Diamonds, says boss Peaks
A busy period for AFC Rushden & Diamonds begins with a trip to Stourbridge this weekend
Andy Peaks believes the next six weeks will give AFC Rushden & Diamonds a true indication of what’s in store for them this season.
It’s been a tough first couple of months for Diamonds who sit in the bottom half of the Southern League Premier Central with 10 points from eight matches.
They head to Stourbridge, who have surprisingly struggled in the early stages, tomorrow (Saturday) before hosting Rushall Olympic at Hayden Road next Tuesday night.
Diamonds are set to play seven matches in the remainder of October but Peaks is only focused on the first of those and, despite Stourbridge’s early problems, he knows it won’t be easy in the West Midlands.
“I think the next six weeks are going to tell us where we’re really at because we have got games coming thick and fast and there is going to be a lot of football played up until Christmas,” the Diamonds boss said.
“When you look at the fixtures we have had, including the cups, we have had some tough games but hopefully that has made us better equipped for what’s to come.
“We are going to need everybody available during this next period and we will be looking to string some results together.
“I think we’re playing Stourbridge at a bad time if I’m honest. I know a lot of their players and they have a good squad that has taken a while to gel and they have a good manager.
“They have got a couple of wins behind them now and it’s never been easy to go there as a player or a manager.
“It’s another tough game but it’s up to us to be ready and focused for it.”
Diamonds were beaten 4-1 at Premier Central leaders Peterborough Sports in the first round of the Southern League Challenge Cup on Tuesday but it was a landmark night for striker Tom Lorraine who grabbed his 100th goal for the club.
“We had quite a few defensive players missing on Tuesday against a tough team,” Peaks added.
“We are going to have defend better than we did but we had a good chat afterwards and you have to go back to basics.
“You have to be hard to beat, you have to track your runners, defend set-pieces, stop crosses and win tackles and we have to do all that better than we have in the last couple of games.
“But we were much better on the football, we looked a threat and we scored the best goal of the night with seven consecutive passes which was well finished by Shanks (Lorraine).
“It was a cold night in the league cup but it doesn’t take anything away from what he has done for the club.
“He has scored 100 goals and he’s not always had the support up there. He puts a shift in and he brings a lot more to the team than just his goals.
“It was a shame to do it on a night like that when there was hardly anyone there but it doesn’t take anything away from the achievement.
“Everyone knows my thoughts on Shanks. He is one I would have in the trenches with me every day.”