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Maamria: "Stay in the race"

15 February 2019

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Dino Maamria says that his side must improve from last weekend’s performance at Tranmere if Stevenage are to upset the odds and take away points from the league leaders on Saturday…

The Boro boss knows that although tomorrow’s opponents will be a tough test to overcome, it is not an impossible challenge by any stretch of the imagination.

“We know it is going to be a difficult game, they are top of the league for a reason but we know what Lincoln have got and haven’t got,” he said.

“They will go up this season, there is no doubt about it. They have got everything going for them and they will be a good club in League One I think. Fair play to them because they took their time and got the budget and resources needed to do what they need to do.

“We will look at ourselves though and what we can’t do is turn up like we did against Tranmere and be second best all over the pitch. To do that against top of the table you will get punished heavily. We have regrouped, looked back at ourselves and looking to do things much, much better.”

Two more red cards last weekend make Stevenage’s total dismissals for the season rise to 9, the highest in the league. Maamria says that his players must keep their discipline on Saturday to give themselves the best chance possible.

“Of course (I am concerned), that is why I have been speaking regularly to the head of referees. Some of them are harsh, some of them are deserved but we don’t want to be prejudged.

“We can’t take away our focus from playing football and attacking whoever we are up against. I won’t make excuses for our disciplinary record, it needs to be better. However many games we have lost away from home, five of those we were down to 10 men so we know that to win football matches, we need 11 on the pitch.

“They (Lincoln) earn the highest fouls in the league in the attacking third and they have got the most amount of penalties in the league. They have got 10,000 people behind them so to have a good game of football, play on the front foot and give everything we have got, we need 11 players on the pitch.”

With just 14 games left in the season and Stevenage still in the mix, Maamria says his message to the players has been clear.

“We have got a great chance to have a good finish to the season, we have been up there all season and like I have been telling the players, we have got two months now to give everything we have got and see where we are at the end of the season.

“I think it is brilliant to be where we are in mid February. Two months, give everything we have got and you will never know.

“We have been top 10 all season and that is because we are a top 10 team. What we now need to put a good run together and win two or three games on the bounce to give us the momentum needed to attack the rest of the season.

“We have got to make sure we stay in the race and hopefully get into the top 7 at the right time.”

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