Sarll wants it all as he strives to make Stevenage solid at both ends of the pitch

Darren Sarll giving instructions to Tom Pett. Picture: DANNY LOO

Darren Sarll giving instructions to Tom Pett. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

Darren Sarll says Tuesday night’s defensive performance should be the minimum expected of his Stevenage side – but he wants that happy medium between solid defence and sparkling attack.

Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw at Cheltenham Town saw Boro keep their first clean sheet of the season in League Two.

And manager Sarll wants that to be the norm for future displays.

He said: “What I was pleased with on Tuesday was it looked like us of old.

“We were very strong, committed and resilient around our box. We kept chances to a minimum and Jamie Jones has had very little to do apart from a 20 plus yards shot.

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“And if you’re only giving teams shots from that distance, you’re kind of on the right tracks.

“We reduced the amount of crosses coming in. We looked a lot tidier at the basic things, set-up and set-pieces.

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“We defended an early onslaught very well. Charlie [Lee], Fraser [Franks] and Jack [King] were terrific at that.

“But it’s only what I expect. I said after the game on Tuesday ‘I’m not doing cartwheels’.

“I don’t expect my team to concede goals and I don’t see what’s wrong with thinking that with the group of players we’ve got.

“What has been troubling in terms of our thinking is why we have conceded the number of goals we have.

“So Tuesday night should be the norm. It should be what we expect from those people, and the consistency of that performance is what I want to keep.”

However the Stevenage boss doesn’t want all the focus to be on the defensive arts and wants his side to strike a balance in their all-round play, staring with this Saturday’s trip to Newport County.

He said: “I want the best of both worlds. I want really good attacking displays like against Hartlepool and I want the quality of defending like at Crawley, where I thought defensively we were outstanding.

“I want that, I want it all. We strive for that perfection in everything we do. And until we get that balance right, we won’t stop working.”

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