Maamria pleased with point but League Two opener is ‘too entertaining’ says boss!
PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 August 2018
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Stevenage boss Dino Maamria was pleased with a point on the opening day of the League Two season, but felt the game was ‘too entertaining’.
Boro were held to a 2-2 draw by newly-promoted Tranmere Rovers at the Lamex Stadium, after getting off to a flyer.
Goals from new signings James Ball and Joel Byrom put the home side on top, but a brace from James Norwood stole a point for the visitors before Stevenage went down to 10 men late on when Johnny Hunt was sent off for a second bookable offence.
“It’s a point to get us going, it’s a long race, it’s important to win the race now,” Maamria said.
“It was an entertaining game for everyone, probably too entertaining for me. I like us going forward but I don’t like us defending, so we need to improve on that.
“Especially second half when we changed the shape I thought we were fantastic.
“We played about 20 minutes with 10 men and I thought we looked very threatening, especially after Danny Newton come on and we should have scored a third really.”
The boss admitted his side didn’t start well despite finding themselves 2-0 up early on, but says he expected it with nine new signings in the starting line-up.
“We didn’t start well, I think that’s because we had nine debutants playing in front of the crowd and so far fans probably don’t even know their names,” he added.
“There was a lot of hesitation and I expected that, I was playing everything down as I’ve been in football long enough to understand that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
“We could have won and started brilliantly like last season and then we didn’t finish the season great, but the point will get us started against a good promoted team with 10 men, so I think it’s a great point for us. Now we’ll kick on and try getting better with every game.”
The former Nuneaton Town boss praised Micky Mellon’s side for coming at Boro and showing a lot of spirit, adding: “They’ve got some decent forwards. Connor Jennings is a good player, James Norwood as well, is Cole Stockton.
“They’ve got a decent front line, they’re an experienced team and they just got promoted and like I said in the week, I think those teams know how to win and they have a resilience about them.”