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Maamria: Determined to get it right

8 August 2019

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s first home game of the 2019/20 Sky Bet League Two season, Dino Maamria says he and his squad are determined to make up for the opening day defeat at Salford City…

Injuries have already taken their toll on the Stevenage squad and the Manager is hoping for some defensive reinforcements to help alleviate the pressure on his younger players.

“It was a tough start to be fair. We had an indifferent pre-season in terms of our preparations, it was hampered by injuries really. We lost our left-hand side by Wednesday afternoon and it threw us back in terms of our preparation.

“We ended up by Friday with about 17 players and we had to bring along a couple of under 18s with us but that is what happens sometimes in football. You don’t plan for that, you don’t plan for picking up the kind of injuries we have had. It has been really difficult and we had to adjust really quickly but it didn’t help our performance on the day.

“Overall it was a disappointing day but what we know is that we are working very, very hard with the Chairman to bring another centre back in at least. If we can do that before the weekend that would be fantastic. If we can’t do that, we have to make sure we aren’t panicking about it. We need to bring the right character, the right profile of player into Stevenage Football Club.

“We carry on as normal and we work hard in training to make the most of the group we have got.”

As always, Exeter will surely prove a testing challenge for Maamria’s squad as the serial promotion chasers visit The Lamex Stadium on Saturday. The Grecians won their opening fixture against Macclesfield but Maamria says their will be no complacency from the Devonshire side.

“They have kept more or less the same squad as last season and strengthened in one or two areas. I watched their game against Macclesfield at the weekend and although they won the game, they didn’t play as well as I am sure their manager would want.

“I am sure they will be talking about if they have the same performance they would lose at the weekend so I am sure their manager expects more.

“It is a tough game but we have got to make sure we get our own house in order and worry about the opposition later.”

One thing is for sure, the Stevenage squad are looking forward to returning home at a new-look Lamex Stadium with the North Stand almost ready and refurbishments complete.

“That is really exciting actually, it will make a huge difference to us. The lads can’t wait and hopefully we put on a good show for the fans. We had a fantastic backing at Salford and we let know we let them down. We have got to make sure that won’t happen again and we are determined to get that right this weekend.”

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