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Interviews

Sampson: 'Need to Build'

11 October 2019

Mark Sampson says that his team 'need to build' on Tuesday night's victory away at Wycombe as they take on Grimsby Town at The Lamex Stadium this Saturday...

His Boro squad recorded a much needed win against a Wanderers side that is flying high in 2nd place in Sky Bet League One.

But now the squad turn their attention back to the league and will be ready to try and make it two wins within the space of five days and claw themselves back up the table.

Sampson knows how massive that first victory was, especially after a damaging defeat away at Colchester in the teams last league fixture, when the team conceded three goals in the second half.

“It is clearly a big change, as a footballer, football team or a football club you want to win football matches. When you have been around football a long time, you can tell the difference between a winning environment and environment where you get into a habit of not winning football matches.

“We knew Tuesday was a big game for us. Second half against Colchester wasn’t acceptable from our standards. It was the first time, since the time we’ve been together as a group we felt that performance wasn’t anywhere near the level we needed to be at.

“So, we talked about it in the changing room after Saturday, we spoke about it at a length on Monday to say, look, there needs to be a big reaction and ultimately, we needed to win. I thought the performance from the players, as importantly the attitude of the players and the team as collective. The guys from the bench and the guys on the field were outstanding.

“We know now we need to build on that, and that starts with the work we started on Wednesday and obviously a big game on Saturday.”

Sampson's side face a Grimsby team that have had positive start to their campaign as they sit in 9th spot – just two points outside the play-off spots behind Swindon Town.

Mariners manager Michael Jolley will be looking to build on their strong away performances that included a 3-1 win away at St James Park against Exeter City.

“They have found a way of playing that suits the players they got," Sampson said. "They have recruited cleverly in the Summer that fits their DNA, and they are a very, very difficult team to play against. They are in a good position in their point of view.

“Again, it is about us. It is about our level of performance, about those qualities that are non-negotiable. Making sure our organisation on the field is strong. We will be fully aware what type of threat that they are going to bring. We have got to make sure we can bring some back, we have got to build on Tuesday night and put in a big performance on Saturday.”

But before any action can take place on Saturday at The Lamex Stadium, the other big game in Stevenage is taking place at Shephalbury Sports Academy as the U18s take on Barnet as part of Academy Day.

Sampson and his coaching team, including ex-U18 manager Alex Revell will be attending the match that is due to kick off at 11am, and will include the likes of Luis Fernandez, Jack Smith and Liam Smyth in the team.

“I am looking forward to it, clearly we got some U18’s who are on the radar, whether that be in the short term in Fernandez and Smith who have done particularly well this year and have been involved in the first team squad. More players that are also younger that are looking to develop as first team professionals. So, I am really looking forward to the game.

“More importantly, it is a celebration of actually how many young people we are effecting. This football club at the moment is affecting so many young people’s lives whether that be in a playing capacity, recreational or just an enjoyment point of view or an elite point of view with our academy.

“It is a great opportunity for the football club to get together, to understand how many people are involved behind the scenes of our Club. It will be a great to see all those young people on the football field on Saturday, be a great day for them and their families.”

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