Peaks wants Diamonds to focus on the job at hand

Andy Peaks wants AFC Rushden & Diamonds to stay focused on their own job as they look to secure a play-off spot
Andy Peaks wants AFC Rushden & Diamonds to stay focused on their own job as they look to secure a play-off spot

Andy Peaks wants his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players to focus on nothing else apart from their own business on Saturday.

Diamonds go into the final day of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South season knowing that if they beat Carlton Town at the Dog & Duck then they will secure the final play-off position.

Diamonds’ 1-1 draw at Stamford on Easter Monday was enough to keep them in fifth place going into the last day, although they are just a point ahead of Basford United and Newcastle Town who face each other this weekend.

Diamonds will be heavy favourites to wrap up the play-off spot as they take on a Carlton team who have struggled this season and sit in a lowly 19th place in the table.

And should they do so, it will set up a play-off semi-final at league runners-up Witton Albion next Tuesday night.

But, for the time being, Peaks wants his players to concentrate on finishing the first part of the job off.

“Carlton have picked up recently,” Peaks said.

“They drew with Basford on Monday so that shows they have something about them.

“No-one wants to go to another ground and lose and see the other team celebrating at the end so I am sure they will come here doing their best to stop us.

“The other game (Basford and Newcastle) will take care of itself but, as ever, I just want to concentrate on us.

“You can often spend too much time looking at your opponents and other results instead of focusing on what you have to do.

“The situation is perfectly clear for us, if we defend well and take our chances then we will be in the play-offs.”

The Diamonds fans were in full voice for last Saturday’s crucial 1-0 victory over Newcastle before travelling in numbers to Stamford on Monday.

And Peaks expects them to be on hand to roar his team into a top-five finish this weekend.

“The fans have a massive part to play,” he added.

“I said before that there are people who have been disappointed with our home form this season and that’s understandable.

“Everyone at the club – the manager, the board, the players and the fans – all want to same thing and that’s to be in the top five at the end of the day on Saturday.

“The fans were terrific last Saturday and they travelled in their numbers again on Monday.

“I am sure they will be out again on Saturday and right behind us.”