Stevenage FC: Five things we’ve learnt
- Credit: Archant
From injuries to striker concerns, here’s the latest on Boro’s season so far
Stevenage head to Carlisle United this weekend almost a quarter of the way through the new season.
Saturday’s defeat at home to Luton Town leaves Graham Westley’s men 17th in League 2, while six of the next eight games are against sides in the top half of the table.
The other two are not in any way easier, being against two resurgent sides under new management – Carlisle United have won their last two matches and Accrington Stanley have won their last three.
Here the Comet looks at five issues at this stage of the season.
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Experience needs to count
Charlie Lee said this week that it is important that Boro’s more experienced players stepped up, and it is.
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Saturday’s side was not a young team, nor was it inexperienced: the average age of starting outfield players on Saturday was 27.3, and eight of the 10 outfield starters have played football at a higher level than League 2.
Hamstrung by injuries
Injuries have proved costly. On the hamstring front alone, Boro have lost Calvin Zola, Simon Walton, Jerome Okimo and Adam Marriott for spells this season.
Zola is a big miss. Westley hoped he would be among the top scorers in the league this season but he has played less than 20 minutes.
If this continues he may not even be Stevenage’s top scorer, never mind challenging for the title of the league’s best marksman.
Zola, Adam Marriott, Connor Calcutt, Cameron Lancaster, Chris Beardsley and Darius Charles have all had spells up front this season, with all but Zola starting.
Yet only Charles has scored more than one goal – and his second of two came as he was playing as centre-half.
Unleash Pett on away defences
Westley has some players who he prefers to play in away games, with Stacy Long springing to mind of his former charges.
Tom Pett is not one of them. The winger has started just two of five away games this season, though he is acclimatising to League football.
Westley had words to say about the wide man on Saturday, see story on left, so he may not feature this weekend, but his passing from deep tore through Mansfield Town last week and he has an eye for goal. He is definitely worth a punt.
If Sam Beasant is back fit this weekend, will Boro bring him back in ahead of Chris Day?
For the last couple of seasons, Boro’s keepers have been juggled like hot potatoes. It’s time this issue was cooled.