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Maamria: "It is a huge game for us"

21 February 2019

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Dino Maamria says he gets “goosebumps” when thinking about what the rest of the season may still have in-store as a dramatic point at Lincoln last Saturday kept his side in the promotion hunt…

Boro face Northampton back at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday and the boss reflected on the strides that his team have made this season.

“It was a very good performance," he said. "It was more like it and good to see us going away from home and attacking. I think we had 18 shots and 2 great goals. I think it was a great game of football and I think we deserved the three points but we will settle for the one. I always focus on the performance though and the performance was very, very good.”

“Last season we were looking over our shoulder to stay in the Football league, this season we are pushing for promotion. It is a brilliant place to be, that was my intention when I first got the job and I know it is going to be difficult. In my first year I probably didn’t expect us to be where we are right now but we are coming up to the end of |Feb and we have got a chance.

“We are in the race and I am very excited and looking forward to it. I have been in football long enough to know that there is no better feeling than to hit March and April and be in the mix. It actually gives me Goosebumps because I know the feeling around the football club and the importance of every game. You do all the hard work for the first six months to try and get in that race and now that we are in the race, I can’t wait for the final 13 games.”

Ilias Chair is the name of everybody’s lips this week after an outstanding performance at Lincoln and Maamria praised the player for not only his skill, but also his attitude.

“He is a very, very good kid. He listens and he is the first one out, last one in. He is a brilliant kid to work with and the talent is there, there is no question about it. We have been crying out for a player like that all season.

"We have been lacking goals, it is obvious and that is because we lost Matt Godden - the goalscorer of the last 3 years - and Danny Newton, who has been on and off all season.

"Those players are very hard to replace and we have still managed to be in the mix and win games even without those goals, and we have to keep doing that. It is good to have Ilias here now to give us that bit of quality that we have been missing all season and to give us more goal threat.”

Saturday’s visitors Northampton have had a disappointing season to-date and Maamria is eager to set the tone early and continue his side’s strong home form right until the end of the season.

“It is a totally different game to last week. Northampton with Keith Curle have turned the corner and they have responded really well to him. I have watched them a few times now, they are solid defensively, they do the basically really well and are compact in the middle of the park.

“It is going to a huge game for us. We have got seven home games and we have to go on the front-foot every game to try and win. If we win our seven home games, it gives us a brilliant chance of finishing where we want to be.”

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