Rotherham up next...Boro Player spoke to Gary Smith today (Thursday) ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rotherham United and he is looking to bounce back from defeat last weekend with a positive results
Stevenage have enjoyed fruitful FA Cup runs in the last two seasons; supporters won’t need reminding that in 2011 the club achieved an infamous 3-1 victory over Newcastle United, and last year a draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur set up another memorable night, with the side eventually falling to defeat after taking the lead against the Premier League side at White Hart Lane.
First reflecting on the way his side have reacted to the loss at home to Swindon Town last Saturday, the manager said “The weekend’s game was slightly different to any normal defeat, of course the manner in which we got beat and with it being at home, it was particularly gut wrenching because of the score line as well. It takes a couple of days to get it out of your system; we were in Monday and Tuesday and we certainly looked through plenty of footage and had a chat about what may or may not have happened and how we can certainly address that.
“The players are certainly good enough characters to realise and understand that, they were hurting as much as we were as coaches but we have got to push on.”
This year’s campaign begins at the New York Stadium in Rotherham, a match that will provide a stern test against the promotion-chasing League Two side, and it’s one that Smith described as a “good cup game”.
“The cup is certainly a different focus and it’s away from the norm but nevertheless it’s still a very tough game up at Rotherham.
“Given the draw that has been made we have got to put our strongest team out, Rotherham won’t be taken lightly. There are one or two sides in our league that were more fortunate when the draw came and maybe they’ll have a chance to rotate the group. We have to be at our strongest against a team that have got strength in depth themselves. They’ve proved already in League Two that they’ll be one of the challengers for promotion. Our sole aim will be to be in the draw come Sunday.”
To see the full interview, including an update on the boundaries in the squad and how the return of injured players will bring more competition, join Boro Player now.