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Maamria: "We mean business"

28 April 2019

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Dino Maamria was absolutely delighted with his players following Saturday 2-1 win at Mansfield Town…

The victory ensured that Stevenage’s Play-Off push will go down to the final day, thanks to a superb performance at an expectant sell-out One Call Stadium, as Mansfield Town attempted to secure Automatic Promotion for themselves.

“Probably the best of the season, Maamria said. “An unbelievable performance. We did some prep in the week and then when I came in today, I threw it all out the window. I told them we to have got to treat this like a Cup final, Play-Off final game where we have to win to go on.

“We had to go and press them, be brave on the ball, dominate everything that is there to be dominated today and just go all-in as a team. We did and my god what a performance that was, from start to finish.

With a strong wind swirling around the stadium all afternoon, the conditions played their part as Boro had the wind with them for the first, then against in the second. After dominating the first 45 minutes without scoring, it looked like the momentum was about to swing back in the home side’s favour, but Kurtis Guthrie and Ilias Chair’s sensational goals were enough to claim the points.

“We played on the edge of their 18 yard box for the first 45 minutes," Maamria said. "In the second half the wind conditions made it really difficult to play the football that we played first half, but having said, we showed a lot of resilience in defending their long balls, especially the corners but going forward, the threat of Ilias Chair, Sonupe, Kurtis Guthrie – they were outstanding throughout all afternoon.

“Even when we conceded the goal on the counter late on, I had that belief that we would get the second goal. That man again Ilias stepped up when it mattered the most and he delivered a huge goal.

“2-1 probably flattered them a little bit, anybody who came to the ground today, and it was a full-house for them, they will have gone away thinking this Stevenage team is a proper team.

“Terence has been getting better and better and better. Ben Nugent keeps getting better and better and better. Kurtis Guthrie, the best centre-forward in the league for me. There were a lot of good performances, but as a team I have to praise the team. It was a proper team performance, you couldn’t single anybody out. Everybody worked their socks off to win that game and not just win it, but win it properly.

The post-match scenes were ones of joy, as Chair’s late goal sent both the bench and supporters wild as the two celebrated together at the final whistle. Now with just one more game to go, Dino Maamria has urged the town to show out and show their appreciation to the squad after a terrific season.

“I am glad they turned up in numbers. I think they knew that we all had that feeling that we are in it, that we mean business. That is what it’s all about, at the end when you are sharing that joy of victory together with the fans, it’s the best feeling. That is what Stevenage Football Club is about, we share those moments together and now we have to dust ourselves down and go again next week.

"Hopefully we have a full house and everybody from Stevenage can come and show their support for those boys who put their bodies on the line through a tough season. We are a small club, a small group and to be fighting up there with some of the bigger clubs in this division, those players deserve huge credit.”

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