Andy Peaks insists AFC Rushden & Diamonds will set up to win their top-of-the-table clash at Chalfont St Peter tomorrow (Saturday).
Back-to-back wins at Hanwell Town and Uxbridge have put Diamonds top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central on goal difference from this weekend’s opponents, who were beaten 3-1 at the Dog & Duck back in August.
Peaks’ team still have two games in hand on Chalfont and both teams will be in action again next Tuesday with Diamonds hosting Egham Town in a re-arranged clash.
But all eyes will be on the top two this weekend and while Peaks accepts that some would see a point as more beneficial to his team than Chalfont, he says that will not be in his thoughts.
“I am a firm believer that if you get a point from your away matches in this league then it is a decent result but we will set up to try to win the game like we always do,” the Diamonds boss said.
“Every game is key, especially when you are in a division where it is proven that anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“We know Chalfont well and it’s up to both clubs to put on a good advert for the division.
“They are one of the best teams we have played this season and they are at the top end of the table for a reason.
“We have been pretty consistent so far and we want to keep that going.
“The league isn’t going to be won or lost in this one game on Saturday.
“It’s a big match that we will try to win and we will do the same when we play Egham next week as well.”
Peaks welcomed Liam Dolman back from suspension last weekend while skipper Richard Bunting, who grabbed the dramatic late winner at Uxbridge, also returned after injury.
Former Stamford winger Shawn Richards made his debut after joining Diamonds at the end of last week but Andy Hall was still missing with a groin injury.
Peaks says Hall “has a chance” for this weekend and he also delivered encouraging news on defender Jack Ashton who is recovering after having knee surgery.
“Jack has been doing some light running as well as kicking some footballs as well,” Peaks added.
“The physio has given him a date to aim at and I think he has already brought that forward by three weeks!
“We are going to have to put the brakes on him a little bit but if we can get him back for the last two or three months of the season then it will be a massive boost because he is a winner.
“We will have to be careful with him but he is a great character and just having him on the bus and in and around the boys will give everyone a lift.”