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Maamria: "Fantastic from start to finish"

14 April 2019

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Dino Maamria hailed his side’s performance as two Kurtis Guthrie goals and one from Arthur Iontton helped Stevenage to a 3-0 win over Carlisle United...

When questioned about whether it was the performance of the season, Maamria said it was certainly up there.

“I was debating that inside. We have had some good games here, Oldham coming back from 2-1 down, MK Dons as well. We have had some good games, Colchester at home as well. It is up there with them. Those games we did not keep a clean sheet, today we kept a clean sheet. That is the difference.

“We were fantastic from start to finish, we were on the front foot, we pressed them. For the first 45 minutes, they did not have a shot on target. They never even reached our 18-yard box. It is a performance that I have been waiting for for a while. The front foot, the pressing of teams, suffocating them from the start, we did that.

“The only disappointing thing from the first half is that we only scored one goal. My message at half-time was to do more of the same, and score more goals. We did that, could have easily been four or five. Overall, a very good performance as a team, a lot of good individual performances as well.”

The last two games has seen a change in formation to much success, as Maamria has employed a 3-5-2 formation featuring the return of Terence Vancooten and Joe Martin into the fold.

“Since Terence Vancooten has been back, it is something I have been thinking about for a while. He has not been fit and then away on international duty, and then when he came back last week I implemented that straight away.

“The players took it really well. Joe Martin as well, he is very familiar with that position. Martin and James-Wildin in those positions are very good. When you play a back three, you have got to make sure your wing backs are good with the ball and good going forward as well. We have got that area there.”

“In the middle of the park we had energy with Sonupe, and we know Ilias Chair and Kurtis Guthrie can unlock any defence. It suited us. Let us see what next week brings.”

One of the biggest stories from the game was young Arthur Iontton scoring first goal for the club after arriving late in the box to open the scoring inside the first half. The feat comes just six days on from winning the Sky Bet League Two Apprentice of the Year Award and Maamria says that Iontton should be very proud of his achievements.

“I have believed in Arthur since last season. In my first or second game in charge I thought I really liked him. He showed what he can do.

“You have to persevere with those young players, with their ups and downs. You have to manage them physically and what a fantastic way to score his first goal. I have told him he was brilliant, he should be very proud and should go on to make five or six hundred league appearances.”

I am sure people will be watching closely, he is different class for an 18 year old.”

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