Notts County boss will know we ‘fight for each other’ - Sarll

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper - Credit: Archant

Darren Sarll says Mark Cooper will have seen a Stevenage side ‘fighting for each other’ when the Notts County manager visited the Lamex Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Darren Sarll

Darren Sarll - Credit: Archant

Cooper was one of a number of managers in the crowd as Boro drew 0-0 with Yeovil Town, and although it was an attacking display lacking in quality from Stevenage it was a hard graft of a performance that Sarll hopes will make his opposite number think when the two sides meet at Meadow Lane tomorrow.

Sarll said: “It wasn’t a great attacking display so I’m not sure what Mark went away thinking after that, but there’s definitely an identity to a Stevenage team that we’re now delivering consistently in terms of that solidity.

“We have a real team spirit. I had a senior player come into my office this week and he said to me ‘Darren this feels like a football team’, and I loved hearing that. That one of my players felt like that. It gave me massive hope.

“There’s no way that he didn’t go away thinking ‘these boys are really having a go for each other, having a fight for each other, the manager, the staff and fans’.

“I thought that was really evident over the last three games.

“If you look at those games and think of the amount of energy the boys have put into them – especially at Luton, a derby with the emotion of it all – I thought we showed that on Tuesday night as well.

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“Jamie Jones hasn’t had a save to make all night. We were strong and resilient and made sure we brought a point home.”

Cooper held talks with Stevenage ahead of joining the Magpies to become their third manager this season, but has yet to taste victory in his first three matches.

However, following a 4-0 defeat at Portsmouth he has earned draws at home to promotion hopefuls Wycombe Wanderers and also, last week, away to top of the league Northampton Town.

“They got an excellent point last week, a well-deserved point and against Wycombe the week before,” Sarll said.

“You get that little surge when a new manager joins because everyone thinks that it’s a clean sheet of paper. They think ‘we’re on level ground again, let’s have a fight, run a bit further than we did’. There’s no secret in that.

“They’ll be an improving team. They’ll have a different shape to the last two managers and an eagerness to go and win their first game. Mark will have that eagerness to win that first game. Of course he will. It’s human nature.

“I think Notts County is a strong place to go. You have to be resilient, similar to Luton, and make sure we instil ourselves and impose ourselves on them.

“Forget about what they’re doing and what their manager is doing; we make sure we look after the interests of Stevenage Football Club.”