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Maamria: "A very good performance"

17 March 2019

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Dino Maamria was left feeling mixed emotions following the 1-1 draw at MK Dons as former Stevenage loanee Chuks Aneke cancelled out Ilias Chair’s first half opener…

Stevenage led from the 30th minute and were in control for much of the contest, until the Dons struck with less than 10 minutes to go.

When asked whether it was one point gained or two points left, Maamria was swift with his response.

“Two lost. We should have won the game,” he said. “We had enough chances to win and I thought they were predictable for what they were doing. We congested the middle of the park, we didn’t let them play and they put a lot of diagonal balls in late on in the game and we should have dealt with the first and second one for the goal.

“Overall, it was a very, very good performance. We have played three tough games this week and the lads have been brilliant for all three.

“We will try and go on a run but we will take it one game at a time. The most pleasing thing is the performances have been consistent lately and that is a really big positive for us. If we play the same way we have played the last three games, we will win a lot of football matches. We have got to keep to our belief, stick to our structure of the team, keep working hard, doing the basics well and playing off the back of that. I think that will take us a long way.”

Much of the Manager’s frustration came with the Match Officials, chiefly regarding a late decision to rule Ilias Chair offside when breaking through on goal.

“Last kick of the game, Ilias Chair going through one-on-one, the only outcome there is the ball is going in the back of the net and he gives offside. He is clearly onside and a big decision like that costs us two points today.

“I don’t want to take the gloss off it because I thought our players were fantastic today and our fans came in numbers. I thank everyone of them and hope we gave them a performance to be proud of. I am disappointed not to give them three points because they gave us a good backing today.”

Most of the plaudits once again went to Ilias Chair after another eye-catching display to scores second goal in a week and fourth for the club since joining on loan from QPR in January.

“He is a fantastic player and I think the team help him as well because we play to his strengths and keep him in certain positions to hurt the opposition but he took the game by the scruff of the neck today and you can see what he can do.

“He has been a danger throughout the game and it is a pleasure to have him. He has been fantastic for us. It is his fourth goal, none of them easy and every time he gets on the ball there is only one intention – to hit the back of the net.”

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