Speaking after Stevenage's Boxing Day win over Colchester United, centre-back Ben Nugent said he has been 'itching' to get back into the team and so it showed...
A dominant performance at the back was capped off with an important contribution in attack as Stevenage recorded a 2-1 win over the fourth placed U's.
“It was a really good one," Nugent said. "Obviously it is frustrating when you are out of the team but I have stayed on it and have been itching to get back into it for quite an important one today. I think it was really vital that we got the win because obviously there is quite a lot of games in such a short amount of time so I feel like if we can get a few wins on the trot it will really boost us up the table."
It was Nugent's 5th minute header which got Stevenage on their way to victory and although it went down as a Rene Gilmartin own goal, Nugent says that after recent struggles during the early stages of games, it was just what the team needed.
“I was gutted! I celebrated like it was (my goal) but I knew it was an own goal. It was just good to get that early goal because we have spoken a lot about our starts and needing to improve on them. We started really well today, obviously the goal helped but minus that, our performance in the first 15 was really good from everyone and that catapulted us for the rest of the half."
Determined to protect a fierce home record, the U's upped the ante in the second half and although they pushed Boro all the way, Nugent said the rest of his teammates helped ease the pressure on the defence.
“Our front players today were superb. Kenners and Jamma put in a massive shift. With them (Colchester) playing wing-backs they had a lot to do and Newts and Kurtis worked relentlessly which obviously helps us if they have got the ball up there. I felt like maybe the last five minutes they had a few set pieces but they didn’t really carve us open at any point.
“When they brought on the big lad you knew they would be a bit more direct but I thought as a back four we stood up to it. The midfield two were picking up second balls and I thought we dealt with it well."
The win keep Stevenage in the play-off hunt and next up Nugent and co face is a trip to his former club, Crewe Alexandra on Saturday as the squad look to finish 2018 on a high before returning home on New Years Day.
“It is going to be a tough game. I know from my time there they like to play a lot of football but I feel that if we press them and get in their faces, we can nullify that and hopefully get a win.
“We have got a really good group here. Work ethic is really important and a little bit more than I am used to but I feel like I have adapted to it and reaped the benefits. When I have been in the team I have done OK so hopefully now we can get on a run, get a few wins and get up that table.”