I’m focusing on the next game, says Roberts

Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts - Credit: Archant

Boro’s stand-in player-manager determined to get a good result, regardless of whether he is in charge or not

MARK Roberts says all he can do is focus on the next game, regardless of whether he will be taking part in it just as a centre-back or as player-manager.

The Boro stand-in manager said yesterday (Monday) that he did not know whether he would be in charge for Friday’s trip to Crawley Town, adding that he and his players must just work hard on the training ground so the team heads into the game in as good a position as possible.

Roberts was in charge for Sunday’s televised 3-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers, and while he was marshalling his troops on the pitch he was helped from the dugout by injured defender Jon Ashton and head of youth Darren Sarll.

This is the second time the 29-year-old Roberts had been given the reins at Boro during a managerial change following last year’s spell in charge after Graham Westley joined Preston North End, and the club skipper believes his players gave him everything in Sunday’s defeat.

“I’m waiting to speak to the chairman [about Friday], waiting to see what happens.

“I’ve tried to take everything in my stride. I asked everyone to give me everything and I believe they did that. Things went against us, the weather, we only had 18 players. It conspired against us, but we hope to get a couple of bodies back, maybe loan bodies but that’s up to the chairman.

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“I just tell the lads to keep focused on the next game and the training sessions.

“I thought in fairness we started the game, the first five or 10 minutes, in excellent fashion.

“We then conceded a poor goal, we got the equaliser straight away so it was a pleasing start in many ways. But following the equaliser we didn’t build on it, and they came into the game strong.

“We were all disappointed at half-time to go in 3-1. I asked [the players] to stick together and put a good show on second half.

“We carved out a number of chances in the second half and [if we had converted one] we could have forced an equaliser and maybe could have gone on and won it.

“Another weekend goes by. We don’t want to look over our shoulders [to the relegation zone]. The focus and emphasis I put on in training is that winning mentality, and that comes day in day out. There was a change of attitude and mindset and we saw a lot of that aspect in the game.”