Peaks looking forward to getting Diamonds back home
AFC Rushden & Diamonds are gearing up for back-to-back matches at Hayden Road
AFC Rushden & Diamonds return home to round off September with a Hayden Road double-header over the next week.
And boss Andy Peaks is hoping his team can give their supporters something to shout about after a couple of encouraging displays on the road.
Diamonds were without a game last weekend but, before then, they claimed a 1-0 win at Nuneaton Borough before returning from a long midweek trek to Needham Market with a 2-2 draw.
Those efforts away from home stopped the rot after Diamonds suffered four defeats in their first five matches in all competitions.
They take on Hitchin Town in the Southern League Premier Central tomorrow (Saturday) and then host Royston Town next Tuesday night.
But Peaks knows his team will need to show the “fundamental basics” if they are to pick up more positive results.
“I was delighted with the last two away games, to pick up four points was brilliant,” the Diamonds boss said.
“I have always said that whatever you can get away from home is a bonus but the key is making sure you pick up points at home.
“We have got two games in the space of a few days and we will be trying to pick up more points from them.
“It will be nice to be back at home and I hope we get the same sort of support we got in those two away games because it was fantastic.
“We are expecting two tough games but we will think about Hitchin first.
“We know they play some good football, we have had our reports on them and they are more than capable.
“This is the strongest the league has been since we have been in it.
“There are some big hitters that everyone knows about and then there are some so-called ‘lesser teams’ who have strengthened and used their budgets wisely.
“If you’re not at it on the day then you won’t get anything out of the game.
“I always expect the fundamental basics of working hard, being organised and putting 100 per cent effort and they have always been part of my remit.
“I think this year, more than ever, if you don’t have those attributes then you are going to struggle no matter how much quality you have.”
Peaks has Tom Lorraine available again after a hamstring injury as the striker scored in Wednesday’s 3-0 win at ON Chenecks in the first round of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup. Will Jones scored the other two for his first senior goals for the club.
One player who hasn’t featured in the last few games is forward Lorrell Smith and the Diamonds boss offered an update on his status.
“Lorrell has got some family issues that he has to deal with,” Peaks added.
“We get on well, we talk a couple of times a week and he is someone I have a lot of time for and I know he has a lot to offer.
“Other things have taken over at the moment but we are in regular contact and he will be back when the time is right for him.”