Liam Osborne, Sports reporter
Monday, April 2, 2012
Boro boss struggles to find many positives after injury-time blow against Wycombe
IT wasn’t hard to sympathise with Gary Smith’s mood on Saturday after Stevenage were denied their first win in five matches by Grant Basey’s injury-time penalty which rescued a draw for Wycombe Wanderers.
In recent weeks the Boro boss had been notable by his upbeat outlook in post-match press conferences despite a succession of draws and below-par performances. But he conveyed an altogether different attitude after their latest blow – that of deflation – which was compounded by late wins from play-off rivals Carlisle United and Notts County.
His side now have a mountain to climb in their remaining seven matches if they are to make the end of season play-offs.
“It’s probably the most dejected myself and the group have been after a game,” said Smith. “Even though we are still unbeaten the story of today [Saturday] was missed opportunities. We played some good football that I felt made us the stronger of the two sides and our reward was the goal with four minutes left.
“And that was going to see us through to our first victory in some while and make a big difference to league table, but it wasn’t to be.
“Inside those couple of minutes of injury time when they scored [as well as Carlisle and Notts County] that gap widened and it makes a hell of a difference [to the league table]. But the huge disappointment of the day was the result because the performance was much, much better.
“The scoreline was everything and I thought for long periods Wycombe looked unlikely to score. But the way the goal came about was so avoidable. But at the moment we’re finding ways to not win games.
“It doesn’t matter if we go in front or behind – we haven’t got enough to keep ourselves in that match-winning situation.”
Smith struggled to find many positives from what had turned into a disappointing afternoon for the club, and admitted he and the players would need to regroup ahead of Friday’s trip to Tranmere Rovers.
“Fortunately we have some time between now and the Good Friday game. And it’s going to take that time for myself to recover and gather my thoughts and for the guys as well. We’ll recover, we’ll bounce back and we’ll put the sides around us under as much pressure as possible.”