An excellent attacking display saw Stevenage run out 4-0 winners of League One Southend United in the final Checkatrade Trophy group game.
Reflecting on the win, manager Darren Sarll told us, “It was like Saturday with goals. I thought we played really well, we started well and the tempo and intensity of our play was very good and there was some real technical quality thrown into the mix there as well.
"Winning has just got to become part of this club, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, whether it’s the Youth Cup, FA Cup etc, we’ve just got to try and win absolutely everything we play.
“I’ve just told the players, it’s the first time ahead of a Saturday that I’ve got a genuine (squad selection) problem. I’m a little bit disappointed that it’s the 8th November and I’m saying that now, but we know we should and could be doing better. We know we have the calibre of player to hit a level of form that will allow us to move up the table. Tonight just goes towards proving that we’ve got it within us and we’ve got to go and execute that now in League 2 fixtures.”
Whilst praising Steve Schumacher who continued his return from long-term injury with a first-half free-kick, Darren also gave big ‘well dones’ to two specific players.
“The first is Rowan for his two goals,” he told us. “I thought the quality of his game, you can see why we’ve kept him a little bit away from playing time. We wanted to go through the process with the lad that will allow you to see what you’ve seen tonight, which is higher intensity, higher level of work-rate, greater dictation of passes in behind etc and he thoroughly deserved his two goals.
“The second well done goes to young Nathan Kerr. He made his first start tonight, a graduate of our Academy, he’s been with me now for three years and I thought he coped so, so well tonight against Jermaine McGlashan, who is a very good player and a very experienced player. I thought Nathan took to it so well and he just went back to all the training he’s had in three years with us and implemented everything. Well done to Nathan, well done to Rowan and again it puts a thought in my mind and gives Ronnie Henry a bit of doubt.”
“It was a good workout. Southend brought over a good side, let’s make no bones about it. Adam Barrett and Adam Thompson played at centre-half, Teddy Smith the goalkeeper, Michael Timlin, Fortune and Simon Cox up top – they’re good players – but I thought our squad and our group were excellent with their work."
The next chance to see Boro in action is this Saturday against Yeovil Town. Advance tickets for this Category B game range from £3-£16 in the terraces and £6-£20 in the seats. Family packages are also available in the West Stand at £30 (1 adult, 2 U16s) and £40 (2 adults, 2 U16s) but these are only available in advance. Head to www.borotickets.co.uk to purchase today.