Speaking ahead of Saturday’s match against Port Vale, Mark Sampson believes that fans at any football club can be the difference in-order to help push the players to perform, which ultimately brings emotion and passion onto the pitch...
In a week where morale and confidence look to be heading in the right direction with vital wins away at Wycombe Wanderers and at home against Grimsby Town, Sampson paid tribute to the contribution of the Stevenage fans.
“Supporters at any football club make a football club, that’s what brings the energy, brings the emotion and brings the passion for the players.
“We got to make sure the supporters are engaged. Because let’s be honest, it has been a hard time for them, it’s been a long time without a win. They have had to suffer poor performances at time.
“So, they have been brilliant to hang on in there with us,” he added. “Ultimately, any football club is judged on that togetherness, that feeling of all in this together. Whether you are a supporter, the Tea Lady, Chef, Fitness Coach, the Manager, Chairman or the players, we all have to be in this together to support each other."
Attention quickly turn to a crucial game away at Vale Park against a Port Vale team that boast an impressive unbeaten home record, in their six home games in Sky Bet League Two this season.
Sampson hopes to see the team building momentum from strong recent performances, with the aim of pushing on for the rest of the season and climbing the table.
“The focus has quickly turned to a big game on Saturday. The players have worked incredibly hard again to make sure we are in a good position to go there and be positive, do what we need to do to give ourselves the best chance of winning.”
Sampson went on to say, “They are a very good side at this level with an excellent home record. They come into this game unbeaten at home, a team that are effective at set-pieces, a team that are very resilient, defensively they don’t concede many goals.
“But like most teams in this league, you know that every Saturday the team who turn up, who works the hardest and competes the most, gives themselves the best chance of winning. So, we have got to make sure in terms of those areas that we are the best on Saturday.
“We are very clear in what are DNA and identity is. I think with any football club, if you are clear in how you want to do things, it makes a lot of things a lot easier.”
Since joining the coaching team at the start of this season, Sampson was always committed to being at Stevenage Football Club for the long term, whether as a Coach, or Manager.
He describes himself as a ‘project man’ and plans to build a legacy that will leave the Club in a better position than when he found it.
“I want to be here for a long time, my history shows me that I am a project man, I want to build something. All the clubs, all the organisations I have worked for in the past, I have built something.
“That is exactly what I am doing, what I am passion about. It is is being a part of a project that you feel you can make a significant difference too. I want to do that long term here. But, all I can do at the moment is focus day-to-day. I have said to the players, our mentality is WNG - Win. Next. Game. So, we got to make sure our focus every single day is on that next game, which is Port Vale."
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