AFC Rushden & Diamonds return to league action over the next week with boss Andy Peaks keen to ensure they start moving up the table..
Diamonds’ exploits in the FA Cup and, this week, in the FA Trophy have resulted in their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One campaign going on the back-burner somewhat.
They currently sit in 17th place but have played as many as four games less than some of the teams around them.
Nonetheless, Peaks is targeting a good haul of points over the next few days.
Diamonds take on Sheffield FC at the Dog & Duck tomorrow (Saturday) and head to Belper Town on Tuesday night before entertaining Basford United next weekend.
And Peaks said: “It’s great to have got through in the FA Trophy and we had a great run in the FA Cup as well.
“Those are the cup competitions that you want to do well in.
“But come December and January people will be looking at our league position and that’s what we must work on now.
“We have played less games than most but we have three more in the next week so it is a very important time for us.
“It’s vital that we pick up some points in the next three matches.”
Diamonds are still dealing with a big injury list, although it eased somewhat following the arrivals of Jason Lee and Ash Deeney at the end of last week.
Lee rejoined the club having been with them towards the end of last season and he impressed alongside Rory Winters at the heart of the defence in both FA Trophy matches against Histon this week.
And Deeney was handed his first start for the club in Tuesday’s 6-1 success against the Stutes in the preliminary round replay.
There could be more new faces to come as well, although Peaks is hopeful that some key players will soon be returning from their knocks.
“Even with the players we have missing, I still feel that the ones out there for us at the moment are good enough,” the Diamonds boss added.
“I don’t think Richard Bunting, Liam Dolman and Jack Ashton are far off.
“But I certainly don’t need to take any risks with anyone.
“Rory Winters and Jason Lee have done great for us in the defence in the last two matches and on Tuesday I thought Ash Deeney showed us how good he will be for us when he is 100 per cent match fit.
“I will keep looking and there may be one or two more to come in before the weekend.
“But that should give us a very strong 17 or 18, which is what we want.”