Boro boss hails ‘messiah’ Mousinho
Gary Smith over the moon after 1-0 win against Carlisle United
GARY Smith hailed John Mousinho as ‘the messiah’ after the substitute’s late winner against Carlisle United catapulted Stevenage right back into the play-off picture.
The 25-year-old had only been on the field for two minutes before sending the Lamex Stadium into raptures with his 76th minute goal. It was a remarkable turn of events for the former Brentford man, who was making only his second appearance since returning from a five-month absence due to injury.
And his manager feels the goal and the three points were well deserved by his team, who are now within one point of the play-off positions with three games remaining.
“This is what everyone is involved in football for,” said Smith. “These are big games as we get nearer to the end of the season and the fans got behind us tonight for the occasion.
“I was disappointed [at half time] because when you create good opportunities you want to take advantage of that. And my worry was that we’d had a very good first half and, as expected, Carlsile came out in the second period and slowly but surely showed all the signs that have given them a top six placing.
“And at that point maybe in the back of your mind your thinking ‘have our best opportunities passed us by’, but John comes on – the messiah gets on the pitch – and gives us the lead. I thought it was just desserts for our performance.
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“We showed all the elements you’re looking for – not only to get back into the chase for the top six – but hopefully to do well in the play-offs as well because that’s what we’re charging on for now.”
Boro were excellent in the first half – especially the opening 25 minutes – and going forward they looked especially dangerous. Some of the link-up play was a joy to watch and despite not being able to replicate that in the second half, Smith says he was delighted with the performances of his players.
“Chris Day made an unbelievable save [in the second half] and the defenders were under immense pressure in the last five minutes but they stood strong,” he added. “But most importantly of all – in the first half especially – we started so brightly and some of the football in the first half was just fantastic.
“I think, to a man, in those opening 25 minutes it was as energetic and as passionate as I’ve seen in a long time and the performance showed everyone we’re really going for this and we think we’ve got a chance.
“We’ve got two home games left, our form has picked up, we’ve got two clean sheets and Pat [Agyemang] has come good at a great time for us. He looks like his old self, he’s full of desire and his strength and individualism is a real lift for everyone when he gets on the ball.
“Of course we can’t affect Notts County but what we have done is put them under a bit of pressure. And when that pressure mounts it does strange things to people.”