Andy Peaks feels AFC Rushden & Diamonds will be capable of causing Alfreton Town problems in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup this weekend.
Diamonds will head into tomorrow's (Saturday) tie at the Impact Arena as underdogs as they go up against an Alfreton team who sit in ninth place in the Vanarama National League North and are unbeaten in five matches after drawing 1-1 with Brackley Town on Tuesday night.
Peaks was on hand to watch that game, the second time he has seen the Reds in action as he plots an upset.
Diamonds go into the game having had their unbeaten start to the season ended in a 2-1 defeat to Beaconsfield Town at Hayden Road last weekend.
That was enough to knock Peaks’ team off the top of the Evo-Stik South League East and he admitted there was “a lot to learn” from their first setback of the campaign.
But, having seen Alfreton on a couple of occasions, the Diamonds boss believes there are areas his team can exploit.
Peaks said: “The most important thing for me is to see a reaction after Saturday because we were disappointed with the performance and the result. We don’t want to feel like that again, we felt we let ourselves down.
“We will go there as massive underdogs but we have to put things right from last weekend and give ourselves a chance of getting something from the game.
“There will be a shock or two in every round of the FA Cup and we have to keep our belief and try to make sure we cause one of them.
“It is going to be a tough game, they are a good side who are on a decent run now.
“We know we can perform a lot better than we did last weekend.
“And the main issue is to make sure we don’t concede goals, even when we aren’t playing as well as we would like to.
“There was a lot to learn from last weekend but we have a good opportunity to hit back.
“I have watched Alfreton a couple of times now. They are a decent team but if we can defend well then I think we are capable of causing problems.
“They do have some weaknesses and it will be up to us to try to expose them.
“I will go over everything I have learned about them with the players and we will pick a team that we feel can go there and give us the best possible chance of getting a positive result.”
Diamonds will be checking up on a couple of injuries ahead of the clash after winger Joel Gyasi and right-back Callum Westwood missed last weekend’s defeat while Sam Brown was forced off with a groin problem.
But Luke Fairlamb is likely to be fit after making his return from a hamstring injury as a second-half substitute last Saturday.