Stevenage boss Sarll on cup draw with Ipswich Town and player movements

Stevenage boss Darren Sarll and his team clap the home support

Stevenage boss Darren Sarll and his team clap the home support - Credit: Archant

Darren Sarll says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is one of the ‘toughest managers’ to go up against after his Stevenage side were drawn against the Tractor Boys in the EFL Cup.

It is the third time in four seasons that the two sides have been drawn together in the first round of the competition.

Boro beat Ipswich 2-0 at the Lamex Stadium in August 2013, while McCarthy’s men won last season’s tie 2-1 at Portman Road.

Stevenage also found out yesterday (Wednesday) that they will host Crewe Alexandra in the opening fixture of the League Two season, and Sarll says that he is looking forward to his team getting back to competitive action.

“We can take faith from last year having gone there and held our own,” Sarll told the Comet.


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“They’re great for us, and it will be a really competitive game.

“To go and play at somewhere like Portman Road ignites players and I think motivation levels will be high.

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“Whatever competition we’re in we want to win the game. Winning then becomes a habit.

“I like the feeling at the end of the game when the final whistle goes and you’ve won. It’s the best feeling there is.”

Stevenage hope to add up to five players to their squad before the start of the new season, though the future of last season’s top scorer, Chris Whelpdale, is in doubt with Sarll saying it is ‘50-50’ whether the winger will remain at the club.

Boro’s boss, though, is happy with the squad he has at his disposal, and could even add another player to it before pre-season begins next week.

“Looking at the players we’ve got registered at the moment it’s a really strong group of 18,” Sarll said.

“We go into the season with real hope. [Clubs] will find my team with a bit of momentum.

“We’re not so wet-behind-the-ears as we were when I took over. We’re in a much better place.

“The recruitment so far has been quite minimal but it’s been outstanding. It’s not about getting a large group of players but the right group.

“Re-engaging with the likes of Charlie [Lee], Luke [Wilkinson] and Jamie [Jones] has given us a foundation for the new season.

“Adding Matt [Godden] and maybe one more in the next day or two means we go into the first day of pre-season really pleased.

“By the time that we kick into the games in August we’d like to add four or five to what we’ve got.

“That would be a decent size squad, but they have to be the right ones. I’d rather go into the first game with 17 right ones than 17 right ones and five that we weren’t sure about. It’s important that we get the recruitment right. Last year had so many lessons for us.”

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