ZANDER Diamond says there is no talk of promotion in the Burton Albion dressing room with seven games left in the League Two season.
The 28-year-old skipper led the Brewers to a 1-1 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday which kept them in the automatic promotion places.
But Diamond – who put in a man-of-the-match performance at centre-half at Victoria Road – says the ‘P Word’ is being kept quiet.
“It’s not mentioned,” said the former Aberdeen man. “You can go home and people text you or whatever, but we need to focus on the job in hand.
“There are seven hard games coming, four at home and three away.
“It’ll be very difficult and it’ll be a very, very brave man to talk about the P-word – I find myself not wanting to say it.
“If we do the hard work and win most of our games, you never know what might happen.
“We’re not talking about it, genuinely. We’re just focusing on getting as many points as we can and then looking at the table.
“When the games tick down people start looking at it, but as a group of players and a management team we have not said anything in the team talks or the huddles, nothing like that.
“We’re just concentrating on winning every football match between now and the end of the season.”
Albion were leading 1-0 through Lee Bell before Dagenham’s Josh Scott levelled just after the break.
Diamond says it feels like two lost points – but reckons that after the 2-1 win at Aldershot Town on Tuesday night four points from six is a decent haul.
“It’s mixed – you can view it as two points dropped because we were in control in the first half,” he said. “We then started a bit sloppy in the second half.
“But you look at it and you would have said at the beginning of the week if you got seven out of nine and four out of six away from home then I think you would take it.
“Every point at this stage of the season is crucial and as long as we don’t get beaten we’ll still be in there.
“It’s a difficult one – you want to win every football match, especially when you’ve taken the lead, but fair play to Dagenham they started the second half well, you could see the conditions and the sun was in our eyes and it was quite difficult at times.
“But four out of six away from home isn’t a bad thing at this stage of the season and they’re long journeys as well so we’ll take that.”
Albion seemed to be caught cold by Scott, who turned away from Bell before surging past Ian Sharps and burying the ball past Stuart Tomlinson.
“It happened quite quickly,” said Diamond. “It came down the side and he got in and hit it that quickly the goalkeeper didn’t have time to set himself.
“It’s just disappointing but we’ll kick on for next week.”
Diamond, who was left on the turf several times on Saturday, reckons the referee could have done more to protect him and his team-mates.
“We weren’t happy with some of the decisions the referee was giving,” he said. “If you look over the course of the game, they were leaving a bit in on me and Sharpsy and sometimes Anthony (O’Connor) and Damo (McCrory) in the second half.
“We weren’t happy with that because the referee should be protecting the players and we felt a few decisions went against us.”
Diamond did not get a great view of home keeper Chris Lewington seeming to come out of his area and handle the ball late on – but was not surprised at the outcome.
“I was back but it seemed his momentum took him outside and he looked quite awkward on the line,” he said.
“But it’s an easy one not to give – the home crowd’s there and the linesman’s on the far side in front of them.
“It would’ve taken a brave man to give it!”
Now, Albion go into back-to-back home games against Wycombe Wanderers and Chesterfield which will go a long way towards deciding where they finish the season.
“(Our league position) does look good – but it’s going to be difficult,” said Diamond. “Wycombe and Chesterfield are two clubs fighting for their own rights in the league.
“We know we’re a match for anybody if we do the right things.
“We won’t be far off, but we need to roll our sleeves up and do what we’re good at at home and that turns games into points.
“It keeps us up at the right end of the table.
“The supporters can say what they want – and the Press – but there’s a long way to go and especially at this stage of the season anything can happen.
“Teams are fighting for promotion, play-off places and battling relegation. Every game between now and the end of the season is going to be a cup final and we need to be ready, we need to be fit and we need to face it head on.”