Andy Peaks has admitted AFC Rushden & Diamonds were handed a “tough draw” when they were paired with Alfreton Town in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Diamonds fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to beat Tividale 3-2 in the first qualifying round last weekend as in-form striker Nabil Shariff hit a hat-trick to take his tally to 10 goals in six matches.
But they will be up against it to progress further after they were handed a trip to Alfreton a week on Saturday.
The Reds currently sit in mid-table in the Vanarama National League North.
And while Peaks knows it represents a big test for his team, he insists they look reproduce the sort of performance that saw them win 3-1 at National League South side Concord Rangers at the same stage last season.
“It’s a tough draw,” Peaks said.
“It’s away from home against a Step Two side, which is as tough as it gets at this stage.
“We certainly could have had a lot easier draws but we will go there as the underdogs with nothing to lose.
“Nine out of 10 times, they should beat but we all know that the FA Cup can throw up surprise results. There will be a shock somewhere and we have to make sure it’s there.
“I am just disappointed that we are away. I think it’s our fifth away tie in a row in the FA Cup but it is what it is.
“We have got to be positive. In most games in our league we are the favourites and that won’t be the case this time.
“We won at Concord Rangers last season so it can be done.
“We will do our homework on them and
if we produce our best on the day then you never know.”