Gary Smith ahead of Stevenage’s trip to Carlisle United

Gary Smith. photo: Harry Hubbard

Gary Smith. photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

STEVENAGE travel 300 miles to face Carlisle United on Saturday with spirits high in the camp, according to boss Gary Smith.

Boro ended a three-month spell without a home win by beating Notts County 2-0 at the Lamex Stadium on Tuesday night.

That result saw the Hertfordshire side move from 15th to 13th in the League 1 table, five points from the play-offs with as many as three games in hand over some of their rivals.

Speaking of the triumph, Smith told The Comet: “We really have to use it as a platform to push on from now.”

He admitted the result helped lift some of the weight of home expectancy off his shoulders.

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“You don’t go that long with the sort of form we’ve had at home without feeling some relief at the end of it,” said the ex-Colorado Rapids boss.

“The timing of it as well couldn’t have been much better, we could have done without another tough result on Tuesday given it was a game in hand and that Notts County are in our vicinity in the league.

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“It was a real battling performance, with some quality in there, but when you have been finding results tough to come by I’m not sure you are too concerned as a team when or how it comes, you just know you need to get some points on the board.

“A clean sheet, some good performances, it was a pleasing night.”

Asked if there were any new injury concerns ahead of the trip north, Smith said: “The usual lumps and bumps from a game, soreness, but in general [the players are] all in good health and in better spirits because that’s the next thing that happens you come in after a victory and everyone feels that much better about themselves.”

Looking at Greg Abbott’s 16th-placed Cumbrians, who defeated the league leaders 1-0 on Saturday, he added: “They [Carlisle] had a real good result at the weekend against Tranmere and their fortunes have changed a little.

“We’ve seen umpteen teams in this league [turns things around].

“Walsall are the epitome, they started off brightly, then went 17 games without a win and then they go and win seven or eight out of nine and it catapults them back into contention.

“It’s possible in this league, there’s no doubt about it, yes you have got to perform well and you need some fortune, and players to stay fit are key ones, but they’ve proved you really can turn it around that quickly.

“We are still in a good spot, have lots to fight for and at this moment in time the players are feeling better about themselves.”

Boro and Carlisle drew 1-1 when they met at the Lamex Stadium on the opening day of the season.

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