Boro players will get first victory says boss despite falling to Cobblers defeat

Stevenage's caretaker manager Mark Sampson. Picture: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

Stevenage's caretaker manager Mark Sampson. Picture: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Mark Sampson says all the ingredients are there to arrest Stevenage’s alarming slide towards the relegation trapdoor.

His second game in caretaker charge at the Lamex ended in the same way as the first, in defeat, but he saw enough in the 1-0 loss at home to Northampton Town to say they can finally pick up a win in League Two.

Tuesday's result left them bottom of the league will just three draws from their opening nine games.

Sampson said: "Every game is a big game now. We are in a position we don't want to be.

"We are aware we need to get results quickly but you also have to assess the team to see if the ingredients there to give you confidence that the results are going to come.

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"And I completely believe that is the case.

"That is one of the most devastated changing rooms I've been in and I've sat in changing rooms that have just lost World Cup semi-finals.

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"They gave their all but just came up short.

"That spirit, that energy and that work-rate and intensity has to stay but we have to work hard on making sure we capitalise on our chances and when we have to defend our box, we defend it with our lives.

"We have to go to Forest Green and improve on what we've done against Northampton and find a way to win."

The loss to the Cobblers was settled by half-time substitute Harry Smith.

He put his side ahead in the 55th minute with a header but he was booked five minutes later after tussling with goalkeeper Paul Farman at a corner and then saw red after a foul on Chris Stokes brought him a second yellow.

And Sampson said his introduction, and subsequent change in tactics, had been the pivotal moment.

The manager said: "They made a change to be more direct and a bit more aggressive and it took us a while to get to grips with that.

"But after that the character and the intensity of the players was there for everyone to see.

"This changing room is a hard-working group and we maybe tried a bit too hard, particularly in the final third, which resulted in us rushing chances or not picking the right pass.

"We need to be better in each penalty area and at a key moment we didn't defend our area well and that has cost us."

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