Boro are capable of making the final - Smith

Stevenage boss says Sheffield United are ‘professional enough’ not to have hangover from missing out on automatic promotion

Stevenage manager Gary Smith says reaching the League 1 play-offs is a ‘fantastic achievement’ but added that there is more to come from his side.

Smith was drafted in as manager back in January after Graham Westley upped sticks for Preston North End and was brought in by chairman Phil Wallace with the aim of steering Stevenage to the play-off places.

The former Colorado Rapids boss has done just that, but speaking about his side’s achievements he says his players are capable of even more.

“It’s a fantastic achievement. Everybody at this point can be really proud of where we’re at, and what sort of season we’ve had,” Smith said.

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“They can also look forward to a fantastic double-legged affair against Sheffield United, and to achieve something that we all know we’re capable of which is a date at Wembley with either MK or Huddersfield, and to see where our destiny lies.”

Sheffield United missed out on an automatic promotion place on the last regular game of the season, but Smith says Danny Wilson’s men are professional enough to keep on fighting.

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“It can be tough, but I think Sheffield are a professional enough outfit and they have enough strength in depth and experience there to realise that there is still a fabulous opportunity to achieve what they set out to at the start of the season,” says Smith. “We certainly won’t be taking any of this likely and I’m sure they won’t be.

“Now we’ve got here the players and the coaching staff will be pretty disappointed if it doesn’t occur. We know it will be really difficult. These moments don’t come around all the time. You can’t look into a crystal ball and see this occurring every year, so while we’re here we want to take full advantage of it.

“When you look at the way the guys are playing and the trust and the belief that they have in one another, there was always that foundation there [before the change in manager] but I think you’re seeing a little bit more fluidity about the group and creative appreciation.

“It takes us in a positive direction and there are some very, very exciting times in front of us and this weekend is the first exciting moment.”

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