There isn’t the money for a 20-goal striker says Smith

Boro boss says the club has to cut its cloth accordingly

Gary Smith says there isn’t the money in his playing budget to bring in a 20-goal a season striker.

Saturday’s opponents Tranmere Rovers have done just that this season, albeit Jake Cassidy’s signing was a loan deal which ends January, and Smith believes that sort of player could be the difference between a draw and a win.

The Stevenage manager was unable to add to his first team squad before the end of the loan window last week, with chairman Phil Wallace saying in his matchday notes that ‘we couldn’t find what we want within our budget and prefer to wait until January to make the right additions to improve us’.

And Smith says that although he is getting plenty of graft from his current front men, Marcus Haber and Patrick Agyemang, the goals just aren’t coming, with the statistics backing him up as between them the strikers have scored just four goals in 34 starts for the club (plus 18 substitute appearances).

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“One or two areas up front, a goal threat, still needs to be addressed but that’s not easy when you haven’t got the resources that stretch that far to add a 20-goals-a-season striker,” Smith said.

“It can’t be done. I think we’re getting a lot of work and determination out of Marcus and Pat, but in terms of actual shots at goals, efforts, goals themselves, it’s not enough of course.

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“We’ve had four of the top teams in the league in the last four games. Of course two points out of a possible 12 is not a great return and is not something we would have wanted.

“At some stage everyone has to run into those top teams. I think we’re back on track a little bit.

“That’s two games unbeaten, we look more like we’re going to keep our goal in tact and are threatening at the other end.”

Despite his side finishing in the play-offs last season and, just a few weeks ago, occupying second place in League 1, Smith says Stevenage are still overachieving this season.

“I think the fans want more, and of course fans always expect more, but the bottom line is we are punching above our weight massively and when the window closed on Thursday you didn’t see too many players added to the group.

“That’s for a reason. We’ve got a tight group here, we’ve got tight resources. We have to cut our cloth accordingly.

“Those players in the changing room are giving everything in every game. The difference right now would be a forward, like Ronnie [Moore] has – though for how much longer I don’t know.

“A forward who is scoring goals; that one difference in the first 90 minutes until we equalised in injury time could well have been the difference between getting three points or not, but it costs money.”

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