Peaks seeking a reaction as Diamonds switch focus to the FA Cup

Andy Peaks is expecting a reaction from his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players in the FA Cup this weekend
Andy Peaks is expecting a reaction from his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players in the FA Cup this weekend

Andy Peaks is expecting “a reaction” from his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players as they prepare to get their FA Cup campaign under way this weekend.

Diamonds have endured a disappointing start to life in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South as a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle Town last Saturday was followed by a 3-1 loss to Chasetown at the Dog & Duck on Tuesday evening.

There is a change of focus now, however, as Peaks’ men get ready to host United Counties League Premier Division side Sileby Rangers in the preliminary round of the FA Cup tomorrow (Saturday).

Peaks, whose team enjoyed a superb run to the fourth qualifying round of the competition last season, has admitted his side have “a few things to put right” before the weekend.

And he is also wary of a Sileby side who have started the UCL campaign in impressive form with seven points from their first three matches, including a 4-2 success over local rivals Cogenhoe United in midweek.

“We had a gentle chat after the game on Tuesday, we have a few things we need to put right,” Peaks said.

“There were little bits I wasn’t happy with so I have questioned them and now I’m looking for a reaction.

“We have plenty of games to put things right in the league and I am confident we will.

“It’s another massive game in the FA Cup and you don’t get second chances in that.

“It’s a tough one because we are coming into it on the back of two defeats. I have had Sileby watched a couple of times and they are a lot stronger than they were last season so I am expecting a really tough match.

“We had a great run in the FA Cup last season and I have always done pretty well as a manager and as a player in it.

“It’s a competition I always look forward to and I am certainly looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully we can put on a show.”

Diamonds’ cause hasn’t been helped by injuries to key players in the early part of the season.

Midfielder Joe Curtis is still recovering after chipping a bone during pre-season while Jake Newman suffered an ankle injury on the opening day.

Ross Oulton has also missed the first two games due to a hamstring problem.

“Jake’s ankle is still sore and Ross is the same with his hamstring,” Peaks added.

“Joe is still not right either so they are three big players missing for us.

“We have had things thrown against us in the first couple of weeks but that’s what can happen.

“I still believe we have a squad that’s good enough, we just have to work on a couple of things and put them right.”