We are still a work in progress - Smith

Boro boss says transition period is still in early stages despite great start to the season

THREE away wins on the bounce, unbeaten in five league games and currently sitting third in the League 1 table – not a bad start for Gary Smith’s ‘new-look’ Boro. But after speaking to the Stevenage boss, it is clear nobody at the club is getting carried away with their exceptional start to the campaign.

Smith has brought in 15 new players since the end of last season where Boro lost to Sheffield United in the play-off semi-final, with a host of key players going the other way.

It would have been completely understandable if Boro’s start to the season had yielded two points so far – let alone 11 – such was the frantic and essential nature of Smith’s transfer business. This team has been thrown together from scratch and, while results have gone better than expected, the Boro manager says the process of building a successful team is still very much a work in progress.

“It’s still early days. I’m very, very pleased we’ve been able to add points to the board but the main focus at the moment is to make sure the group develops in the right manner,” Smith said.

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“We’ve got an enormous amount of new faces and those players are trying to build relationships, understanding and spirit so we have to keep working at that. But while we’re in that process, you don’t want to be losing, and of course three wins on the spin away from home has been just what the doctor ordered.

“The transition is nowhere near complete. It’s developing, but there are certain wrinkles that need to be ironed out all the time. But the one thing I will say is the players, given the amount of new ones that have come in, have done a fantastic job of preparing themselves, taking on board information and trying to apply that in order to win games.

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“Any coach can try and create a team that plays pure football – but if you don’t win games you won’t be in the job very long and that process will start and finish very quickly.

“Underlying the direction you’re trying to move in is a necessity to win games. If you don’t the players lose confidence in what you’re doing, so at the moment we’ve made some nice strides but there’s still plenty of work to do.”

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