Mark Roberts: Captain’s Column

Boro skipper’s fortnightly take on all things Stevenage FC

Welcome to the first instalment of my Captain’s Column, a fortnightly look at the team’s progress.

Hopefully it will provide all current supporters with an insight into the squad and a taste of life in the dressing room and if it attracts new support for the club then that would be fantastic too.

I am writing this before our fixture at Bury on Tuesday night so all being well we will have earned another three valuable league points.

Having played five of our last six games at home we now begin a series of games that sees us travel to four of our next five fixtures.

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Our home form has put us into a league position where we can start attacking those sides currently above us in the table and the beauty of the forthcoming games is that these teams all fall into this category.

There are several differences to away games in terms of preparation and ensuring we get this right will be key to our success.

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Both the game at Bury and Saturday’s match at Shrewsbury are long in terms of journey time and distance.

We always look at the best possible way of travel whether that be by train or coach.

Some away trips mean an overnight stay and with two games in a week, which is common at this time of the season, rest is a vital part of our preparation.

Looking back at the two home fixtures from last week we were disappointed not to have more than two points to show for our efforts.

Both games resulted in 2-2 draws but having taken a lot of positives from coming from behind against Gillingham it was very frustrating to allow a two-goal lead to slip so late in the game against Accrington.

We analyse every game we are involved in and valuable lessons have been learnt from both.

With the January transfer window now closed our squad looks in excellent shape as we begin the run to the finish line.

We broke our own transfer record to bring Craig Reid to the club from Newport County and he will prove to be a fantastic signing.

He has fitted into the dressing room banter seamlessly which is a credit to both him and the rest of the lads.

It is a great dressing room to be part of and one that welcomes any new player with open arms.

However, there is always one initiation that any new player must go though before he is fully integrated and officially ‘one of us’.

The newcomer must get up in front of the whole squad and management and perform a song of their choice.

The standard in my time here has been first class and there are always a few surprises.

Let’s just say Reidy’s Patrick Swayze rendition needs a lot of work!

Another player who I would like to give a special mention to is Darren Murphy.

Murph has fought his way back from a broken leg and never allowed his head to drop.

It is great to see him resume full training even if extra shin pads are needed by all!

Until next time…

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