Andy Peaks insists AFC Rushden & Diamonds are a “work in progress” after they suffered another narrow defeat - this time by a 2-1 scoreline at Royston Town.
It’s the third time in six Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central matches that Peaks’ team have been beaten by the odd goal as they adjust to life at a higher level.
And, despite witnessing a much-improved overall display following their Emirates FA Cup exit at the hands of Hayes & Yeading United, the Diamonds boss conceded his team were “not good enough” in either penalty area.
Jack Bowen’s third goal of the season had brought them back on level terms but Diamonds conceded what proved to be the winner just a minute later.
And Peaks said: “I am obviously disappointed and to be honest, it hurts more than the FA Cup defeat because we probably deserved something.
“I was looking for a reaction and, performance-wise, I think I got that.
“We had more chances than they did but we have made a couple of individual errors and we have been punished for them.
“As far as effort and work-rate is concerned, I can’t complain.
“But games are won and lost in the penalty areas and we were not good enough in either.
“We built last season on our defending and clean sheets and we can’t get one at the moment.
“The goals we have given away have been poor and we are only getting beaten by the odd goal so it is a case of fine margins for us.
“But I am certainly not going to panic. We are a work in progress at this level and I have seen enough to suggest we will be absolutely fine.”
Diamonds return to action with a trip to Peterborough Northern Star in the first round of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
And, with them having no game next weekend due to their FA Cup exit, Peaks is set to field a strong team in the county competition.
“There will be a couple of changes but I am taking the game very seriously,” he added.
“We want to get back to winning ways and I want us to go out and see if we can keep a clean sheet just to get us up and running on that front.
“We will have a look at it and maybe switch a couple of things but there won’t be massive changes. It’s an important game for us.”