Andy Peaks has urged his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players to be “100 per cent focused” for tomorrow’s (Saturday) FA Cup first qualifying round clash at Bedfont & Feltham.
Diamonds, who are unbeaten this season and moved to the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central last weekend, will be highly fancied to book a place in Monday’s second qualifying round draw when they head to the Combined Counties Division One side.
But Peaks has described the tie as “a massive banana skin” and is hoping his players will have learned from their slow start at North Greenford United last weekend when they went a goal down before battling back to claim a 3-1 success.
“It’s a massive banana skin and they are a better team than the level they are playing at,” the Diamonds boss said.
“We have watched them a couple of times and we are going to have to be prepared for it.
“It’s a massive game, I’d say it’s our biggest one of the season so far.
“I always look forward to the FA Cup, I did when I was a player as well.
“We want to go on and pit our wits against teams from a higher level and it can also bring in good revenue for the club.
“But it’s always tricky. When you are in the league, you can afford a slip or two.
“In the FA Cup, there are never really any second chances.
“We have had a great start, it’s been exactly what we wanted.
“But last weekend was a good warning for us. We didn’t start well and went a goal down and it could have cost us.
“We know we can’t make that mistake this weekend and that’s why I am just urging our boys to be 100 per cent focused from the start.”
Diamonds are set to be boosted by the returns of Steve Spriggs and Delroy Gordon this weekend.
Midfielder Spriggs has now recovered from a knee injury while Gordon was unavailable for last weekend’s win.
Skipper Richard Bunting is rated as “50-50” to recover from a groin problem suffered at North Greenford while Courtney Herbert is also a doubt.