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Interviews

Maamria: "Keep showing that endeavour and passion"

9 December 2018

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Dino Maamria felt that his side were unfortunate not to earn a result at home to Lincoln in a tight, tense and hard-fought contest against the League Two promotion favourites...

Stevenage fell behind early from a John Akinde penalty but unlike the previous two home games where Maamria’s men were able to turn early deficits into three points, lightning wouldn’t strike thrice on this occasion.

“We don’t like losing. I don’t think we got what we deserved today. I thought we were fantastic for 75 minutes, we were all over them. They had one shot on target which was the penalty.

“I am really disappointed with the way we start games. We have been trying new things and I am disappointed in my two centre-backs. We have been talking all this week about them (Lincoln) and how good they are from restarts and how good they are in terms of earning free-kicks and penalties. We know they will do that and I was disappointed with Scott and Nuge, five minutes in giving away a free-kick and penalty.

“They are very good at managing the game and I don’t think the ball was in play very much. There were lots of dramas in terms of one of their players would keep going down for a minute at a time but I feel like our football was really good, Luther was outstanding and it was brilliant to have Danny Newton back. There were lots of positives.”

Most of those positives came in the second half were Stevenage had the Imps penned back for much of it. Attack after attack was met by stern resistance but Maamria was pleased with the way his side went about their business.

“I thought we were brilliant. We played good football when we passed it, we played through the thirds, from the back and we opened them up a few times. Sonupe was so unlucky from scoring a brilliant goal that came all the way back from Seny.

“Listen, they have been up there for three or four years and they have been building. They have a big team and they know how to see these games out. We knew it was important not to go behind, we knew it was going to be difficult.

“When you go 1-0 down and they put so many bodies behind the ball, it is going to be difficult. When Sonupe and Newton came on I thought we opened them up nicely, it is just that the ball didn’t go in the back of the net. I am disappointed with the goal we gave away, it was a really soft penalty and absolutely needless.”

The result leaves Stevenage just outside the play-off places and Maamria says that it is a start to the season that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“We are in the mix, it is fantastic for a new team. We are learning as we go on and we have small squad but if our players keep showing that endeavour and passion that they showed in the second half especially – and all our fans could see that and appreciated that at the end - we will be where we deserve to be at the end of the season.”

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