Smith looking to bounce back against Huddersfield
Boro boss wants to get back into play-off places after back-to-back defeats
STEVENAGE boss Gary Smith says Carlisle United’s last-gasp win over Yeovil Town on Saturday has placed extra emphasis on tomorrow night’s home clash with play-off rivals Huddersfield.
Boro slipped out of the play-off places for the first time this year after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Charlton Athletic was compounded by the Cumbrians’ late win, who took over in sixth place. However a win over the Terriers – who beat Stevenage 2-1 in the reverse fixture in October – would lift Smith’s side above Carlisle.
“The disappointment now is we’ve lost two games on the spin but we’ll look towards Tuesday’s game against Huddersfield which is an important fixture for us given the way Carlisle got on against Yeovil,” said Smith.
The Boro boss admitted Charlton were the better team on Saturday, when second half goals from Michael Morrison and Bradley Wright-Phillips won it for the hosts, and says his team lacked a cutting edge in the final third.
“First period I thought we competed well, but we did not have enough of a goal threat,” he added. “But in saying that we had a fantastic chance just before the break when Luke Freeman might have done a tad better at the far post.
“The goal just after the break separated the teams and gave Charlton a huge lift. It’s always nice to score quickly after half time and it gave them more of a spring in their stride and, of course, the second goal makes life a little bit difficult for us.
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“Yet again the determination and sprit of the group was never at fault. There were one or two really important moments in and around Charlton’s box where we just looked lacking in a bit of creativity and one or two of the choices were a bit awry.
“But we’ve had a tough run of games, the midweek game [against Notts County] was a tough one to swallow getting beaten in the last minute so it’s been a tough week for the group. Coming here was always going to be an uphill task – Charlton’s home form has been as good as anyone’s in the league.”