Stevenage boss Dino Maamria is left disappointed after Cambridge defeat

PUBLISHED: 15:17 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:17 16 April 2018

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria on the touchline in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria on the touchline in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Stevenage’s 2-0 home defeat by Cambridge United left many fans disappointed, given the good form the team had shown in four unbeaten matches prior to Saturday. But no-one was more hurt than Boro boss Dino Maamria at the performance.

Stevenage FC fans let off a flare before the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOOStevenage FC fans let off a flare before the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

A brace from the U’s supersub Barry Corr grabbed the points at the Lamex for Joe Dunne’s side.

It may have been the archetypal mid-table clash – despite their victory at Broadhall Way the U’s remained in 14th position while Boro stayed in 15th place – but the loss gave Maamria food for thought in terms of deciding his personnel for next season.

The former Nuneaton manager gave his verdict after the match – and was not happy.

He said: “I am a fan and if I was a fan I would be really disappointed with that, that’s what hurt me most I think.

Cambridge United fans in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOOCambridge United fans in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

“It is a local derby and yes we will lose games – but it is the manner of the loss which hurt me most.

“Sometimes as a manager you come in and you get an instant reaction from the players and then sometimes they revert back to how they were before.

“I do not want to underestimate the work they done in the last two weeks to produce the results we have produced.

“I remember before I came in we were in such a bad run we were actually in danger of relegation, so two wins and two draws in those four games were vital for us.”

Ben Kennedy of Stevenage heads towards goal in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOOBen Kennedy of Stevenage heads towards goal in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

After a bright start Stevenage laboured in the sun as former Leeds United striker Corr grabbed two second half goals, leaving Maamria to analyse the defeat with a view to the trip to play-off contenders Coventry City.

He added: “I know what we need, I know what winning looks like and it is difficult to get that this time of the season.

“I know we need to get fitter because I thought last couple of games we ran out of legs.

“Fitness you have got to build up over a period of time and we have not got that.

George Taft of Cambridge United slides in to tackle Luke Wilkinson of Stevenage in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOOGeorge Taft of Cambridge United slides in to tackle Luke Wilkinson of Stevenage in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

“So, I have got to keep them as fresh as possible, as organised as possible and be ready Friday night.”

Maamria made changes as he gave Fraser Franks a game while benching the highly-rated Ben Sheaf to try Jack King in a defensive midfield role.

He added: “It’s a tricky situation for me because I want to win football matches, but on the side of it I want to have a look at what players can offer as well.

“Fraser gave me a really positive response in last two/three weeks in the training ground and I thought I wanted to look at him in game as well.

Luke Wilkinson of Stevenage clears under pressure from Billy Waters of Cambridge United in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOOLuke Wilkinson of Stevenage clears under pressure from Billy Waters of Cambridge United in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

“I wanted to see what he has got to offer, and it is important for me to do that as well.

“Ben is a terrific player, I left him out as I thought he is a young lad who has played a lot of football lately and save his legs really and have a look at Jack King there.”

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