Smith hoping for repeat performance

Stevenage set for league opener against Carlisle

Gary Smith says he is looking for more of the same in this weekend’s league opener against Carlisle United after seeing his side knock AFC Wimbledon out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening.

An own goal plus further goals from James Dunne and Mark Roberts helped Boro book their place in the second round and with it a home tie against Southampton, and speaking afterwards Smith said he would like to see his players build on that performance when they host United this weekend.

“We’ll be hoping that we can perform to a similar degree to what we did tonight,” Smith said.

“It’s a long season, but if we can put some points on the board at the weekend it’ll make us feel a lot better.

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“Everybody will be encouraged by [the Wimbledon] performance and I think getting that first competitive game out of the way, because they are so different to pre-season games, [it was good] to get rid of some of those nerves and that edginess out of our system.

“All of those new guys in the group, I think six or seven of the starting line-up were new faces from last year, will feel a lot better about themselves so we’ll attack the weekend and hopefully we can perform to that sort of standard.”

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Last season Carlisle finished two places and four points behind Stevenage, just outside the League 1 play-off places.

Manager Greg Abbott may not have been as busy as his Stevenage counterpart this summer when it comes to player recruitment, but he has brought in some new faces.

Danny Cadamarteri has joined following a spell at Huddersfield Town last season while Alessio Bugno has come in from Italian club Monza and made his debut for the club in their 1-0 win over Accrington Stanley in the Capital One Cup.

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