100-up Cobblers defender Diamond says he's still on a learning curve
Central defender Zander Diamond is now 31-years-old and has played close to 450 senior games in Scotland and England - but on the eve of his 100th appearance for the Cobblers, he admits he is still learning his trade.
The former Aberdeen, Oldham Athletic and Burton Albion man has enjoyed an excellent start to the season at Sixfields, arguably producing his best form in a Cobblers shirt almost three years after he joined the club.
The fact he has been doing so well despite stepping up a level to Sky Bet League One speaks volumes of the Alexandria-born player’s attitude and application, and he says he simply relishes rising to any challenge placed in front of him.
“You always need to reset your goals at the start of each season,” said Diamond, who has been an ever-present for the Cobblers in league one this season, and will play his 100th game for the club if selected against Bury on Saturday.
“With the new manager coming in, new players coming in, and with the form of the team as well, you need to be on your toes in every training session, in every game, and it is good for me.
“I love the experience of enjoying every training session and every match.”
And he added: “League two is different to league one, and the calibre of strikers is probably that bit better, and the calibre of team as well, so you are learning all of the time.
“You never stop learning, and even though I am 31 I go into every game knowing it is a new challenge ahead, and I like to meet challenges head on.”
Diamond says Town boss Rob Page has been a big influence on him since he replaced Chris Wilder at the helm in the summer, and said: “The manager has been first class since he came into the football club.
“Working under him has been brilliant for me, with him being a centre-back and a good one at that.”
The next challenge facing Diamond is a Sixfields date with Bury this Saturday, and the team will go into the clash with confidence high thanks to last weekend’s 4-2 win at Shrewsbury Town.
The win over the Shrews was a crucial one for the Cobblers, as it came on the back of heavy defeats to Millwall and local rivals Peterborough United, and Diamond says the key thing for the team now is to try to maintain a good run of results.
“I have been in the game long enough to understand and to know that you can’t get too high when you win and too low when you lose, you have to have a constant,” said the Scotsman.
“You see it in this league, teams are beating each other, and I think the word to get is consistency.
“If we manage to get results together on a consistent level then we won’t be too far off where we want to be this season.”
Bury have lost six games in a row ahead of this weekend’s game, but a wary Diamond said: “Bury are a good team, and I am sure they will be competing at the right end of the table, but we just need to look at our own part.
“We can’t contol what other teams do, or concentrate on what they have done, out focus is on us and it always has been.” You never stop learning, and even though I am 31 I go into every game knowing it is a new challenge ahead, and I like to meet challenges head on