Preview: Grimsby Town v Stevenage

Darren Sarll

Darren Sarll - Credit: Archant

Stevenage are determined to prove the doubters wrong as they face Grimsby Town at Blundell Park on Saturday aiming for their first away win of the Sky Bet League Two season.

An injury-time Matt Godden winner against Luton Town guided Boro to their first home win of the campaign last weekend, however a 4-0 mid-week loss to Stoke City in the EFL Cup followed with manager Darren Sarll determined to get back to winning ways.

Sarll feels his players received undue negative comments following the Stoke game which will drive them on against the Mariners.

“The players are probably a little bit disappointed with the way people have spoken about them if I’m honest, so that will only fuel the fire for Saturday, it certainly fuels my fire,” he said.

“We’ll take that on board and take all the criticism that’s out there and we’ll harness that into a good performance.

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“There’s a lot of tired bodies and specimens [after the Stoke game], it’s about recovery now and getting them right for Saturday.

“The reaction is we played against some very good players, the disappointment is we didn’t have a little more outcome or productivity for the effort the players put in, which was immense.”

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Sarll made four changes to the starting XI from the Luton game for the Stoke clash and is likely to reintroduce several who did not start midweek at Grimsby.

“It won’t be a problem carrying the league performance, or Tuesday night’s performance, into Grimsby,” he said.

“They will be certainly physically developed after the other night, with the amount of work they had to put in.

“We’ll always work on the back of that performance Saturday, and the win Saturday, which will have lifted a little bit of pressure off their shoulders, of my shoulders, and we’ll go to Grimsby with the same belief we always have.”

Grimsby, who were knocked out of the EFL Cup at the first round stage to Derby County, will have had a week’s rest come Saturday.

Sarll though was glad his club had the Stoke game, and the benefits of it, rather than time off.

“Would Grimsby have liked to have held a Premier League club at their place on Tuesday? course they would, so it was of great benefit to us that we had the game,” he added.

“[It was] a good learning curve and a good opportunity to look at the team under a different spotlight, in a different way, against the type of opposition we played against.

“They will be better for that, it was certainly better for Dale Gorman to play against those players on Tuesday night than to be training, so I’m glad we played the game, glad we had a Premier League side at the Lamex as a reward for our spoils at Ipswich and we’ll certainly be better off because of that.”

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