After the last-minute heartbreak at Macclesfield last Saturday, Dino Maamria is determined to get things right on Saturday as his side take on a struggling Notts County at The Lamex Stadium...
A quick glance at the table may suggest that it could be the perfect opportunity to bounce back with three points, but Maamria insists it will be far from a walk in the park.
“It was a tough goal to concede last minute at Macclesfield, but we have got to find a way forward and on Monday we have gone over that.
“We have gone through a few things, where we need to improve and how to win those games rather than drawing them.
“It is definitely going to be a tough game. There are no easy games. Every game we have played this season has been a tough game, they have all been close calls.
“Notts County have a very, very good squad. They have been mismanaged for the past few months or so, but they have got a good squad of players and I am sure they are trying to get themselves together. They have picked up a few results now and they are trying to save themselves. They are fighting for their lives.”
Recent results for Stevenage have been defined by late goals as six out of the last seven games have seen added time strikes swing the balance of games, both for and against Maamria's men.
Although it is true that more of these have come against his side, Maamria was keen to stress that in total, Stevenage are one of the stronger teams in the division when it comes to the final 15 minutes of games.
"Only Bury (& Mansfield) have scored more goals than us in the last 15 minutes of games. We have scored 16 goals in this time.
"In terms of conceding, we are average in the league so actually we are a lot stronger in the final 15 minutes of games. It is just the last month or so.
“We will learn that when we attack in games, we have got to be secure at the back as well. We have got to make sure that when we are chasing a game we do not end up losing the game."
Looking ahead to the big season picture and fight for the Play-Offs, Maamria believes that whilst facing an uphill task, the season is far from over.
“The margins in football are so small. In the 93rd minute on Saturday we were three points away from the play-offs and in the 94th minute we were seven points away. We conceded and Exeter scored, and all of sudden we go from three points to seven points (away from Play-Offs).
“So, how do you deal with that? You deal with that by being pragmatic, looking at the facts. If we look at several teams, Forest Green play MK Dons and Exeter play Mansfield. We cannot control that, anything can happen in those games but a lot of those top seven teams can drop points. I think there are more twists and turns this season to come than people think.
“My message to my players is let us focus on what we need to do, let us make sure we win our games and see what happens. Anything is possible. We will take every game by the scruff of the next and try and do our bit.
“Game-by-game, we have got to make sure we are ready to give our fans a good performance and a good win as well.”
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