Peaks: Diamonds must be braver on the ball

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks knows his team must get back on track this weekend
AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks knows his team must get back on track this weekend

Andy Peaks has urged his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players to be “braver on the ball” as they bid to end their poor run of form.

Diamonds take on Uxbridge at the Dog & Duck this weekend having suffered a third successive 1-0 defeat at promotion rivals Royston Town last Saturday.

The latest setback has left Peaks’ team six points behind current Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central leaders Kings Langley while Aylesbury now sit just five points off Diamonds with two games in hand in the battle for the play-off places.

And the manager insists he doesn’t care how his team get their campaign back on course as long as they do.

He said: “Uxbridge haven’t got a great deal to play for apart from the fact that they are playing AFC Rushden & Diamonds and that seems to inspire most teams.

“It’s all about us from my point of view and we have to get back on track and I don’t mind whether that happens with a brilliant 5-0 win or a 1-0 win from a lucky deflection as long as we do it.

“The boys need to maintain the same work ethic and win their battles but I would like to see them being a bit braver on the ball.

“I don’t know whether the pressure has got to them or what but we seem to have a few who are to scared to make a mistake.

“I want to see our boys taking ownership of the ball and trying to create chances.

“I will accept anyone making a mistake as long as they are putting a shift in.

“We have players who can make things happen and if they show that bit of bravery on the ball then we will create opportunities and we will score goals.”

Diamonds could have been as many as eight points off the pace on Tuesday night but Egham Town missed the chance to go top when they were surprisingly beaten 4-1 at home by Bedford Town.

Peaks believes even more “twists and turns” will come during the remainder of the campaign.

But, with just eight games to go, he knows Diamonds need a quick improvement if they are to remain part of the promotion picture

“I think Tuesday night epitomised what I have said about this league all season,” he added.

“Any team from top to bottom can beat anyone on their day and that was proven with Bedford winning at Egham.

“There will still be even more twists and turns to come but we have to make sure we are in a position to take advantage of them.

“Unless we get back on track then what other teams do will be irrelevant so we just have to concentrate on ourselves.”

Peaks expects Delroy Gordon to be back in the Diamonds squad this weekend but skipper Richard Bunting and Tom Liversedge remain sidelined.