Stevenage boss pleased with how players responded to pressure in win over Grimsby Town

Darren Sarll.

Darren Sarll. - Credit: Archant

Darren Sarll says Stevenage’s players responded well to the pressure on them as they took all three points from their match with Grimsby Town.

Steve Schumacher battles to win the ball.

Steve Schumacher battles to win the ball. - Credit: Archant

Boro had won just once in their last six matches ahead of today’s game, a run that included a 2-0 reversal at Hartlepool United last weekend, and suffered a 5-2 defeat away to today’s opponents earlier in the season.

But a superb free-kick from Steven Schumacher and a fine, chipped goal from Jobi McAnuff handed Boro all three points in what turned out to be a rather comfortable performance.

Speaking afterwards, Sarll said: “There was a lot of pressure on today. And we built up the pressure in the week and built up pressure based on that the last time we played Grimsby they were totally dominant and last week was such a disappointing performance.

“The pressure was ramped on and it evoked a few changes and I thought they carried out a very good strategy from the start to the finish and very much deserved the win.”

Sarll continued: “I was actually quite disappointed with the first-half performance.

“I said to them at half-time we’ll have to improve because I think we went through the first half, even though we’ve come in 1-0 up through a terrific strike from Steve, I don’t think we opened Grimsby up too much.

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“I think Steve had a very good shout for a penalty and we created one or two half chances but I said we’re going to have to improve.

“Trying to hold on to a 1-0 lead is a poor mentality and mindset to have so let’s improve our attacking play and keep believing in the defensive work we’ve been doing and the game will open up as they’ll have to come up.

“I was pleased with the second half performance, really pleased. We grew into the game. Structurally we were very good.

“We saw the very best of Charlie Lee again. It reminded me of soon after my takeover in February [2016] the performance against Cambridge we won 2-0.

“I was quite comfortable in the end even though they threw balls into the box. It wasn’t too panicky for me.”

Speaking about Schumacher, Sarll said he had a chat with his midfielder in the week about his recent displays.

“Steve and I spoke in the last couple of days about his recent performances,” Sarll said.

“The great thing about these senior lads is that there’s some terrific people in here and I poked them a little bit this week. Steve was one of those I wanted to poke and he gave me the answer I was looking for.

“I thought his performance throughout was dogged and resilient. It was a very good performance. And the strike was testament to his ability to hit dead balls.”

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