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Maamria: "Purpose, Ambition, Front-Foot"

1 September 2019

Dino Maamria was left in disbelief following Stevenage's action-packed 2-2 draw against Macclesfield Town on Saturday...

His side dominated the contest throughout but came unstuck as defensive lapses at the back and profilgate finishing up-front allowed the Silkmen to come away with a share of the spoils.

“I cannot believe we did not win it," Maamria said. "We had 22 shots and absolutely peppered them throughout the game. It was a fantastic performance. Defensively, we were poor, that is the only thing I have got to say. They had one chance to score and they had a penalty. That is all they had all afternoon.

"We are putting a team out there together to compete and to be fair they have given everything they have got. They showed purpose from minute one.

“We ended up losing the first half and it was a travesty really. But then the boys responded brilliantly at half-time. We changed a couple of things and I thought the subs were brilliant. We changed the shape as well to cause some problems and I thought we were fantastic until the last ten minutes when Ben Kennedy started feeling his thigh, Soares started feeling his calf and we dropped off them a little bit.

"Having said that, a minute before they scored Danny Newton broke through one-on-one, and probably should have scored to make it 3-1.”

Whilst the Manager was pleased with the overall performance, he says that the players must take ownership for the squandered opportunities in-front of goal.

“Yes, we did have 22 attempts at goal, but we only scored two. I think we need to take some ownership as well because some of the chances we missed, the players have got to look at that and think 'I should have done better there'. They have got to take ownership of the chances they missed because as a team we create a lot of chances.”

“What we can do on the training ground is get the team to play forward, on the front foot, give them patterns to create goals, and it is up to them on a Saturday afternoon to score or miss. If you look at the chances we missed, they are unbelievable chances to miss. It ends up costing you because today we should have been winning four or five nil.”

After equalising through Kurtis Guthrie's close-range header, it was an unlikely scorer in James-Wildin who took the roof off The Lamex Stadium with a goal that will be remembered for years to come. Picking the ball up from a short free-kick about 35 yards out, the right-back thundered the ball home into the top corner, leaving the Macclesfield goalkeeper no chance at all.

“I thought Luther and Joel Byrom were outstanding today. Luther needs to play with that self-belief, that is something we have been working on at the training ground. He has got so many attributes. Athletically, he can play a lot higher than where he is. I think he holds himself back a little bit, so we are working on self belief there and I have told him to play off the leash.

"Go and dominate people, play on the front foot and play in forward areas. We have been working on his end product in forward areas as well. It was a great goal to see. Shame it is not the winning goal, but we move on.”

Following the result, Maamria says that disapointment was the overriding feeling coming out of the dressing room, but that there is also a steely determination and confidence that better things are on the horizon.

“Disappointed because we did not win the game. I think there is belief as well. There is a togetherness as well that they are going to bounce back. We are very short on bodies, and when we get some of our bodies back, we will be a fantastic team to watch.

“Everybody who left the ground saw a team that played with purpose, ambition and on the front foot. We played good football, created a lot of chances, a lot of shots. I think a lot of people would have enjoyed that. I did not enjoy it because we did not win the game. That was a proper football match this afternoon. Another game where we say we should have won.”

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