Don't mention Oxford United

As far as the Boro players are concerned Oxford United do not exist. Chris Wilder s side are currently setting the pace at the top of the Blue Square Premier with Boro leading the chasing pack but Graham Westley s men are refusing to concentrate on anyth

As far as the Boro players are concerned Oxford United do not exist.

Chris Wilder's side are currently setting the pace at the top of the Blue Square Premier with Boro leading the chasing pack but Graham Westley's men are refusing to concentrate on anything but their own performances as the club enters a crucial period in the current campaign.

Boro striker Chris Beardsley insisted this week the squad is just focusing on the game ahead against Barrow on Saturday and not thinking about hunting down Oxford in Stevenage's quest for the Football League.

"We try not to talk about Oxford and simply concentrate on ourselves," Beardsley revealed on this week's Comet podcast. "We're just trying to get a run together and post three points.


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"We want to see progression in our performances each week and if we can achieve that then everything will take care of itself."

The festive period is likely to give a clear indication as to whether Oxford have got the stomach to continue setting the pace and whether any other clubs are capable of sustaining a challenge for automatic promotion alongside Boro.

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While this weekend's opposition, Barrow, will not be in the running they have proved this season they are more than capable of pulling off an upset.

They have already claimed the scalps of Oxford United and Kettering this season and Beardsley warned against Boro showing any complacency on Saturday.

"They had a good first season last year and look steady again," he said. "I think they have gone full time over the summer and they will start feeling the benefits of that now.

"It will be a difficult game. I'm sure they are going to come here and think they can get something."

The league is of course not the only front Boro will be challenging on in the New Year after they disposed of Ebbsfleet United in the FA Trophy last weekend.

Some fans had questioned whether Boro should be concentrating on the competition in view of their lofty league position but no such thinking has been entertained within the Stevenage ranks said Beardsley.

"It's a chance to play at Wembley and that does not come around too often," he added. "I think it's only four or five games to get there so that's a great incentive for any player.

"We all want to retain the trophy that lads worked hard to win last year and none of the lads want to give up on the chance of playing at Wembley.

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