Jepson: Diamonds can turn it around with a collective effort
James Jepson believes a collective effort can help AFC Rushden & Diamonds end their miserable run of form.
Andy Peaks’ side have hit a major blip at just the wrong time and head into the Easter weekend on the back of four successive defeats in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.
Their latest setback came at the Dog & Duck last Saturday. They fell behind to Uxbridge but then levelled when Jepson set Elliot Sandy up for his first goal for the club.
But Diamonds were hit in stoppage-time when Wayne Carter headed home to secure a 2-1 win for the visitors and inflict another devastating blow on their promotion hopes.
Diamonds are now facing a battle to stay in the play-off places and one of the sides who could still chase them down, Northwood, are the visitors on Saturday in the first part of an Easter double-header with a trip to Arlesey Town to follow on Monday (3pm).
Jepson is no stranger to the division. He was part of the Kettering Town side that romped to the title nearly a year ago.
And he is in no doubt that Diamonds can turn things around and earn promotion themselves, as long as everyone plays their part.
“I haven’t looked too closely at the teams in the league but it is similar to last season when I was at Kettering,” said Jepson, who made his debut for the club last weekend.
“We know it will be tough in every game but we just have to carry on. We will train hard this week and hopefully find a way to get back on track.
“The fans are clearly very passionate and they turn up in their numbers.
“We need everyone pulling in the right direction between now and the end of the season.
“At the very least, we want to be in the play-offs and if we can achieve that then we want to be going into them with the momentum.
“It’s the in-form team at the end of the season that usually goes on to get promoted through the play-offs and that’s something we have to keep in mind.
“We just need to get a win, no matter how it comes. It could be a scrappy 1-0 or a five-star performance and a 5-0 victory.
“It doesn’t matter as long as we get those three points on Saturday.”
Jepson felt Diamonds were unfortunate in a number of aspects last Saturday and he described the late, late setback as “frustrating”.
“I didn’t think a great deal fell for us in the first half last weekend,” the experienced midfielder added.
“We got the goal and then we had a decent spell after that but to concede so late was very frustrating.
“It seems to be the way it is going at the moment. But it’s up to all of us to try to end this spell and make sure we stay up there.”