Pressure is no problem for stuttering Diamonds

Andy Peaks
Andy Peaks

Andy Peaks insists it is not the pressure of sealing the title which is contributing to his AFC Rushden & Diamonds side’s failure to win any of their last six matches.

They have not collected a victory since the 2-0 victory over Barton Rovers back on March 10.

Since then they have been beaten by Hayes & Yeading and Hartley Wintney before four successive draws against Uxbridge Town, Beaconsfield, Northwood and Bedford Town.

It leaves their once-dominant position at the top of Evo-Stik Southern League East more precarious than it was with third-placed Beaconsfield just two points adrift and with two games in hand.

However, despite their stuttering form of the last month, Peaks is happy that expectation is not affecting his team’s performances and expects a strong show against Aylesbury United this weekend.

“I certainly don’t think the players are feeling the pressure,” he said.

“The way they are playing there is no panic and we weren’t even going long towards the end (of the 0-0 draw) against Bedford.

“What pressure there is would certainly be taken off if we can win a couple of games, though.

“We’re not getting much luck at the moment but football turns around really quickly.

“It won’t take much for us to get a bit of luck and we could easily go on a run and win our remaining games.

“I said that at the start of the season when we were drawing a few matches.

“I said it would only need a quick turnaround and we would go on a long run and that’s what happened.

“Now we don’t even need to go on that long a run.

“The players have to keep the belief.

“We’ve got loads of good players here and they are more than capable of easily winning the next five matches.

“We mustn’t lose sight of the fact we’re still in a really good position.

“We’re in the position that 90 per cent, maybe all, of the other clubs would love to be in.

“Okay, it’s maybe not quite as good a position as it was two weeks ago but we’re still top of the table.

“We’ve had a blip but we’re still picking up points.

“It might not be as many points as I would like but we’ve only got five games to go and we need to finish the job off.

“We’re in a good position with our fixtures. We haven’t got the backlog of some teams.

“We’ve got Ben Farrell back, Ben Diamond back, Jack Ashton back – we’re in good shape.”