Preparation the key for Stevenage as they head to Hartlepool

Matt Godden runs to celebrate with the fans during Stevenage's 6-1 win over Hartlepool in September.

Matt Godden runs to celebrate with the fans during Stevenage's 6-1 win over Hartlepool in September. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

The looming figure of Dave Jones shouldn’t pose a problem for Stevenage in their trip to Hartlepool says manager Darren Sarll – if they prepare properly.

Pools have moved quickly to appoint the former Southampton, Wolves and Cardiff manager following the sacking of Craig Hignett earlier in the week.

And despite the natural lift that a new manager brings to a club, Sarll is confident that his players are more than good enough to come home with three points.

History would agree with him, with Stevenage unbeaten in their 10 games against the north east outfit, a record that includes a 6-1 success earlier this year at the Lamex and a 2-1 victory at Victoria Park last February.

But any good fortune tomorrow (Saturday) will still be dependant on solid preparation.


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Sarll said: “The last couple of trips up there have been favourable for us and that trip last year will always reside in my memory. My first win, so it was a good night for me and obviously the club.

“Saturday poses a completely different test. It would have posed a test had Craig still been the manager; a very professional man, a very proud man

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“But with the angle of the new manager coming in and being in the stands and Sam [Collins] being the way he is, I think it’ll take on a different direction. We know they’ll be a group of players highly desperate to play well for Sam and do justice to the new manger coming in on the Monday.

“That in itself gives inspiration and motivation and we know we’re going to have to be on our guard to the type of environment having a new manager brings and that little lift it gives everyone.

“But if we prepare properly and do what we need to do, we’ll be ok.

“We’ll play the way we play. I know the away run was outstanding at the time the home run was disappointing but we don’t set up any differently. We’re not asking the players to do different things away from home. We’ve just got to make sure we do our job.

“We’ve prepared the best we can. It’s been a little bit difficult this week with the south being, for the first time in the country’s history, colder than the north but we’ve done our best. The players have had an excellent attitude to the change and we’ll go there as well prepared as we possibly can.

“If we do what we should do with the players we have at our disposal, I’ve no doubt we’ll win the game.”

Stevenage will go into the game with new signing Josh McQuoid available but one player not available is the man who scored twice in that 6-1 win earlier this year, Tyler Walker.

He was recalled by parent club Nottingham Forest and has since been sent out on loan to League One Port Vale.

Sarll said: “Tyler was a very good player for us, even if it was only for eight games. He brought a lot of quality and athleticism to us. Whether it will be a good move for him to be recalled and go to Port Vale, only time will tell.

“The one thing he would have done had he stayed with Stevenage is play games and score goals. But the lad has backed himself to play at a higher level.

“I’ve got no problem with that and Tyler will only have a problem if he doesn’t play for Port Vale.

“Good luck to him, I hope he does well.”

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