We need to be effective in front of goal - Newson

Stevenage set for Yeovil Town test this weekend

Stevenage assistant manager Mark Newson says Boro’s front men are working hard to get the goals that could fire them to a League 1 play-off place.

Since the start of February Stevenage have played 16 matches in all competitions and only one striker – Craig Reid – has hit the target, albeit when playing on the right of midfield.

Despite manager Gary Smith bringing in both Jordan Slew (Blackburn Rovers) and Patrick Agyemang (QPR) on loan neither striker has been able to hit the back of the net for the club and Stevenage have had to rely on players in other parts of the pitch to get the goals.

This was the case on Monday afternoon when captain and centre-half Mark Roberts scored an injury-time equaliser against Preston North End, and Newson says it is something that needs to be put right.

“I think the performance against Preston on Monday was terrific, first class. We were really disappointed as a group coming in at half-time not being one or two up creating the chances we created,” Newson told The Comet.

“Through one or two individual errors they went in front, but we showed terrific character to come back.

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“We do know we want to be more effective in front of goal. Even before myself and Gary came here there was a problem in front of goal but that’s what we’re working on.

“There are no more disappointed people than the players themselves. The last forward to score a goal is Craig Reid and at the time he was on the right of midfield.

“We know it’s a problem and we’re working hard on the training field. It’s not just the forwards. Michael Bostwick has chipped in with one or two and maybe we would like to see more midfielders chip in. With the height that we have maybe we could also scored more from set pieces.”

Monday’s draw leaves Boro six points off the play-off places but with Stevenage set to face two of the four clubs in contention for the sixth-place spot between now and the end of the season, Newson believes they still have a chance of leap-frogging the sides above them.

“I think it shows the strength of the side that we’re still in with a shout with five games to go,” Newson said. “We will still have a say in [who gets] sixth spot and we’ve got to play the teams notably Carlisle and Brentford.

“We still believe we can get there. If we can get a nice result this weekend it sets up nicely for Carlisle next Tuesday.

“We’ve had a couple of poor starts on away games. [Against] Tranmere we were two down in 11 minutes which is unlike us, and we’re chasing the game again.

“Come Saturday, Yeovil are a decent side and Gary [Johnson] has done a decent job since he’s been there.

“There’s less pressure on us away from home and we’re looking to go there and take all three points.”

* For match updates from Saturday’s game follow @stevenageborofc on Twitter

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