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Maamria: "We have to strengthen"

28 November 2018

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Dino Maamria rued Stevenage’s nightmare start to Tuesday night’s contest as two goals were conceded inside the first six minutes, giving his side an almost-impossible mountain to climb...

After conceding a goal after just 18 seconds from kick-off, a second promptly followed to give a vulnerable Swindon side all the encouragement they needed to win all three points.

“You can’t do that. It was unforgivable really,” Maamria said. “We do our prep, we focus a lot on the first 10, 15 minutes, we have our gameplan and we play into their hands and they score from our kick-off.

“What you can’t do is go away from home and give away two goals in six minutes. What we have learned it that we are a very reactive team. We react to things rather than being proactive. We keep coming back from losing positions, going behind to come back in games and sometimes at home, we can do that, but we can’t do it away from home. You can’t give a team, a club likes Swindon with their fans two goals in six minutes and expect something out of the game.

“We want to be on the front foot, take the initiative in games, score early, score again and that is a learning process and where we need to improve.

“To be fair we showed character and totally dominated the second half and we were unfortunately actually to not come away with a draw.”

Maamria made minimal changes following Saturday’s win against MK Dons and he explains how a lack of squad depth is hampering the side at the moment.

“It was a brilliant effort on Saturday, a big win against the leaders and today I should have changed two or three personnel, but I don’t have the depth in the squad to make the changes.

"In hindsight I shouldn’t have played JCR and Ronnie. Revs was playing with a knock, Kenners was sick all weekend but that is what we have got. To be fair to those lads, we had some fantastic performances. Joel Byrom was awesome, Timlin was brilliant, Alex Revell was brilliant and Kennedy had another great performance.

“He was really sick but he insisted on playing and he showed great determination. Some of the lads play with a lot of ambition and they really mean business. I think we need two or three more bodies, winning players, so when the heavy schedule comes in we can change one or two personnel and the performance levels will still be as high.

“What I have to do is look after the players we have got, keep them fit, get as many points as possible until January and then we certainly have to strengthen if we are going to achieve something this season.”

With no FA Cup tie at the weekend, Stevenage now have a free-weekend which Maamria says is very much welcome.

“We need it. There are a lot of sore bodies there, a few players playing with knocks and fair play to them but they have been putting their bodies on the line and insisting they want to play.

"We will get ourselves together, patch one or two up and then we will go again to get ready for Lincoln a week on Saturday.”

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