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Sampson: 'Keep this snowball rolling'

13 October 2019

Mark Sampson was full of joy following Stevenage's first league victory of the season, as first half goals from Kurtis Guthrie and Charlie Carter helped his side to a 2-1 win over Grimsby...

Coming fresh off a 1-0 midweek win over Wycombe in the EFL Trophy, Stevenage posted a landmark result at The Lamex Stadium to move off bottom of the table, to record a first league win and to make it two victories in a row.

“I am really happy. I am really happy for the players, the staff, supporters and the football club, Sampson said. "That result has been coming. We knew we had been starting games well and showing enough in games to win games, but ultimately we just needed to get over the line in a league match.

“Whatever we feel about the performance today, which in parts was outstanding again and parts we have got some big learning to do, it was just about getting over the line. The feeling in that changing room is a lot different to how it was this time last Saturday I promise you that.

“There is a feeling and a sense of optimism, confidence and belief that we needed this to get the ball rolling. Five games now, one defeat and two wins in a row. That is a team definitely moving in the right direction. We have got to keep this snowball now rolling down this hill.”

Boro had been ahead at half-time in each of the previous two league fixtures, only to see those leads dissapear in the second half. On this occasion, Stevenage went in two goals to the good, something that Sampson says was significant.

“We needed it, and we thoroughly deserved it. We could have been more than two ahead. I thought we were very good defensively, made good decisions at the right time. I talked about smelling a game, using your common sense on the field, and we did that. There was time to put your foot on it and pass it, and there were times where you just have to clear your lines and put the ball in the areas and go and chase after it.”

“I thought the strikers did magnificently in making bad balls good ones. The energy in midfield to get up to the ball and stop those direct ones into the main centre forward. And the back line, it is a tough game against Grimsby. You have got to head it, you have got to anticipate second knock downs.”

“I thought from Farman all the way to the guys who came off the bench, and the supporters in the stand, we were outstanding today. especially in that first half.

“Now we have seen this one out, we can be a lot more confident in those situations, get ourselves up the pitch, get the first pass away, play in the right areas and take our chances on the counter attack to finish the game.”

The all-important goals came courtesy of Kurtis Guthrie and Charlier Carter, both of whom Sampson had plenty of praise for.

“Charlie is a young player, growing with every game now. He is filling that jersey out like a real good footballer does. Kurtis has lead our line fantastically well. Ever since I have come in, he has been outstanding. That is four goals for him now in six. When he has not scored, he has been incredible as he was on Tuesday. I think he epitomises that if you want to play as a team, you have to defend together and attack together.

“If your centre forwards are not going to defend for you, you have got no hope. Cowley and Kurtis set the tone for us. Our goalkeeper started us off in terms of making good decisions, when to play from the back or when to go off the front.

“The two goals were excellent. Most importantly for us, they were goals by design. Goals that you work on on the training ground over and over and over again."

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