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Maamria: "It will be a difficult test"

4 January 2019

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Dino Maamria isn’t expecting a huge amount of transfer activity across the month of January as he looks to fine-tune his squad ahead of the season run-in...

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s derby clash against Cambridge United, the boss says he does hope to move a few in and move a few out, and reveals that he has his eye on a certain profile of player.

“I think we are where we are as a football club, we are not one the wealthiest clubs in this league and we know our budget and we won’t go over that. I knew the job from day one.

“We will probably try and get one or two of the younger ones a chance to play elsewhere and gain match experience and if we can get one of two loans probably, younger ones, we will do that but we are in no rush to do anything.

“We need a bit of a spark going forward. One or two players to create more chances for us in games, they are the type we are looking for. We know it will be difficult to get those type of payers, the right characters, the right personalities but this season we have been good with loans, we have had two very successful loans in Seddon and Seny so hopefully we get one or two similar characters to those two.”

Stevenage battled their way to a crucial 1-0 win on New Years Day despite playing with a one man disadvantage for almost 60 minutes. Dino Maamria believes it could be a defining result for the team this season.

“It was important for us to get the points on Tuesday. We did that with 10 men and I thought the fighting spirit that the team showed in the second half was second-to-none. Sometimes wins like that create momentum. They galvanise a squad, give us more belief that we can go forward and it came at the right time.

“It is consistency. We have a got a small squad so when we get one or two knocks, or suspension in our case, it affects the team. Sometimes that is what it is but we know that when we are at our best we can beat the best and we have got to make sure we at our best all the time.

“I have told this to my players before. We can beat a good Newport team with 10 men for 60 minutes, we can beat anybody. We have already beaten MK Dons, Colchester, teams at the top, so if we can show some consistency, we will be up there or there abouts come the end of the season.”

Saturday’s opponents, Cambridge United, come into the game in wretched form after losing 6-0 to MK Dons on New Years Day and facing an unexpected relegation battle.

Despite their lowly position, Maamria is taking nothing for granted.

“They have got a new manager, Colin Calderwood, he is a very experienced manager and they have had a mixed bad of results. He got a good win against Crawley and they were very good against Lincoln and unlucky not to win the game but obviously he will be very disappointed with Tuesday’s game.

“It will be a difficult test, without a shadow of a doubt. Cambridge have got good players there and I am sure Colin will organise them better defensively and I am sure they will be looking to stop conceding goals. It will be a good game, one we are looking forward to.

“They are in a difficult position because they shouldn’t be there but I am sure they are trying to get out of it and it will be a difficult game.”

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