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Maamria: "We got what we deserved"

20 January 2019

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Dino Maamria was delighted with his players for battling to the death on Saturday which resulted in a late Luke Wilkinson winner at Morecambe...

A Ben Kennedy penalty put Stevenage in control of the contest at the break and Maamria was particularly pleased with how his players started the game.

“It was a game of two halves," he said. "I thought in the first half we were outstanding, probably the best we have played this season, especially away from home. We came out and our intention was to dominate possession, go on the front foot, to get the ball wide, create overloads and put crosses in. Probably the only negative first half was that we didn’t score as many goals as we should have done.

“We have spoken a lot this week about how we can make our away form better and we went into details about a lot of things with the players. We analysed all the games we played away from home, when we did well and when we did not so well. We knew that whenever we won the first half of those away games, we won those games. We focused on winning that first half first and second half we always come strong.”

The second half didn’t go quite to plan as Morecambe took the game by the scruff of the neck. A Kevin Ellison goal with 20 minutes to go made for a nervy finish - especially when eight minutes of added time were awarded -  but Maamria says that he was confident his side would get one more chance.

“Credit to Morecambe, they put us on the back-foot and didn’t allow us to play from the back like we did first half. A couple of injuries affected us a little bit. Timlin came off injured, he was struggling at Half-time. Ben Nugent was struggling at half time. Dany Newton and James Ball carried on the game limping so that played its part as well.

“Having said that we showed our resilience and will to win again to win it in the fashion we did. I love winning games late on and there is no better way to win that game than with Wilko’s header.

“We weren’t really happy with the draw anyway. I wasn’t complaining too much about the 8 minutes because I wanted the game to carry on. I knew we would get stronger and create chances too, which we did on the counter attack. We opened them up a little bit and I am glad we have got what we deserved overall.”

The victory didn’t come without consequence. Two more players left the field with injuries to add to an already lengthy treatment room at Bragbury End.

With a huge home game against level-on-points Forest Green Rovers on the horizon, Maamria says that his first priority over the next few days is to help mend the battered and bruised.

“My concern is my players carrying too many knocks. They did well last week, we barely trained and we got them together, patched them up and put them out today. We asked them to go and win a game away from home and they did that brilliantly. My focus this week before we get to Forest Green is to make sure we look after the players, so that next Saturday we are in the best shape possible to go and beat Forest Green Rovers.”

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