Darren Sarll was full of praise for his players after Stevenage earned a vital 1-0 win at local rivals, Luton Town.
Usually very animated on the touchline, Sarll says his team’s performance meant he was able to cut a calmer figure during the game.
“I thought we were controlled. I think one of my weaknesses at times is being very emotional as everyone knows as I care passionately about the football club.
“Some of the focus in the last two or three weeks has been about intelligence and emotional intelligence. Making sure we keep calm and we are thinking all the time about the game, whilst bringing that emotional passion and desire to the performance. I thought they displayed and executed that really well.
“I know myself that when I feel that the team need me I am up shouting and I spent more of the game today sitting down, in control and calm than any other game.
“I thought there were some terrific individual performances with a real cohesion to our team shape and tactical performance.”
The key moment in the game came on 85 minutes when Ben Kennedy was fouled in the area, earning Stevenage a crucial penalty with the score 0-0.
Having worked with him for so long in the youth team, Sarll knows how difficult he is to defend against.
“I have seen him do it for three and a half years every day. He is mischievous when he dribbles at you. He tempts you, he teases you and he wants you to stick that leg out and then he will move it at the last minute.
“I have been on the end of some horrendous one v one duels with Ben Kennedy so I know exactly what he is trying to do and trying to achieve in that moment. To be fair Ben will only be thinking about going past the lad and scoring himself.”
Michael Tonge asserted his seniority to take the penalty and Sarll says that there wouldn’t have been many other players that Kennedy would have allowed to take it off him.
“I don’t ever set aside who is going to take penalties. I just want people that want to get on it, to get on it.
“I think Michael’s grey hair and distinguished features make him a bit of a father feature to Ben so I am sure if it was anyone else, Ben would have been on the floor wresting.
“When it comes to Tongey I think it is ‘there you go, I have got massive respect for you - do what is right for the team’.”
Next up for Boro is Tuesday Night Football as Yeovil are our visitors in a couple of days’ time and Sarll doesn’t want the foot let off the gas.
“I want to win the next game, the next game and then the next game. All thoughts and concentration are now given to Yeovil who have down brilliantly since Darren Way has taken over there. We have to make sure we are absolutely firing to get the Lamex on its feet and go take home as many points as we can from that game and likewise when we go to Notts County.”
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