Stevenage boss, Darren Sarll says that Tuesday night’s defeat to Stoke City in the EFL Cup was a “long evening” as Mark Hughes’ side ran out comfortable winners.
Peter Crouch’s hat-trick sandwiched a Phil Bardsley wonder-strike as the Premier League outfit showed their class, winning 4-0 on the night.
“They came here very motivated; they did it properly and showed us a great amount of respect,” Sarll said. “We know that on these nights you have to be absolutely at your best and hopefully the opposition are a little bit reduced in their performance levels but tonight that wasn’t the case.
“Obviously they took it very seriously and they have got a team full of Premier League players and they aren’t bad the Premier League players so it was a long evening, a very long evening.”
Boro struggled to keep up with the opposition on what was a warm night at the Lamex Stadium but Sarll says it will have done the players good going forward.
“They have tried all evening; they have tried their absolute hardest. The only bit of disappointment I have is that they ran so long and so hard that I just wanted something for their spoils.
“Whether that be putting their foot in a bit more often or better creation of opportunities, I just wanted a bit more productivity out of the effort they put in.
“We couldn’t really get a hold of the game but the physical effort they exerted tonight will certainly be beneficial to them over the course of a long season.”
There is no doubt the main man for Stoke was Peter Crouch who scored three on his first appearance of the season but Sarll believes that it was a good experience for his two centre-backs.
“It was a terrific education for Fraser and Luke who are both around the age of 25 and yet to come into their prime,” Sarll added. “He has given better players, international players over his career problems so it was good for them to face. In the future they will be better for that experience.
“Obviously it is disappointing that the other night we all left here on a high and tonight we are on a bit of a downer. We wanted to make some noise in this competition, we wanted to progress but we have to learn our lessons and get ready for Grimsby on Saturday.”