Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Stevenage set for play-off semi-final showdown with Sheffield United
Scott Laird says Stevenage will know what to expect when going to a packed Bramall Lane next Monday, having already experienced the baying full house at Sheffield United just two weeks ago.
The 3-0 win over Bury on Saturday saw Stevenage book a play-off semi-final date with United, with the first leg at the Lamex this Friday, before travelling to Sheffield next Monday evening for the second leg.
Speaking after Saturday’s win, Laird told the Comet: “I don’t think anyone fancies coming here especially when we get it rocking in front of the TV cameras.
“When the big games come along we seem to rise to the occasion so hopefully we can have a good first leg.
“Going into the away leg, thankfully we played them last week so we’ve had a taster of that not so long ago.
“It’s not like we played them a couple of months ago in front of half of what they usually get. We’ve played them in front of their full house which they should be getting for the second leg and we know what to expect.
“Hopefully we can go there and get the win maybe we should have got last weekend.”
Laird is one of seven players – along with Chris Day, Mark Roberts, Michael Bostwick, Jon Ashton, Joel Byrom and Chris Beardsley – who played on Saturday who also featured in Boro’s 1-1 draw with Tamworth on the opening day of Stevenage’s title-winning 2009-10 Conference season. The nucleus of the squad has stayed together during the club’s rise through the leagues, and Laird says there can’t be too many clubs who have enjoyed the levels of success Boro have experienced these past few years.
“I think when we all first got together three years ago, the way we were all put together – the faces and personalities that were brought into the team – we have stayed together and grown.
“We are where we are now because we do it for one another. We’re all best friends in there, we’re not selfish. We don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for each other and that’s testament to the team.
“I was talking to my family and my girlfriend about it the other day. I don’t think you could go to many clubs and be involved, in the three or four years that we have, in something every season.
“For most clubs, you get to this stage of the season like Bury who haven’t got anything to play for and they’ve got to go and enjoy their summer now.
“For the last three or four we’ve always been involved in something, and it’s so exciting.
“I don’t think this will happen anytime soon in our lifetimes, I think it’s a special thing that’s happening here and we’ve got to enjoy it while it’s happening.”