FA CUP: Stevenage boss Dino Maamria says late defeat to Plymouth ‘hurts’

PUBLISHED: 17:55 10 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:06 10 November 2018

Ground staff work on the pitch during the Emirates FA Cup at Home Park, Plymouth. PA

Ground staff work on the pitch during the Emirates FA Cup at Home Park, Plymouth. PA

PA Archive/PA Images

A bitterly disappointed Dino Maamria has been speaking after Stevenage’s last-gasp FA Cup defeat to Plymouth Argyle at Home Park om Saturday. Read on for the full transcript of his pitchside post-match interview.

That was heartbreaking...

I’m gutted. That was my first experience of the FA Cup as manager of Stevenage FC. I came into the game certain we were going to win today. We know them inside out. We know the threats they were going to pose us. Unfortunately Steve Seddon coming off cost us as we looked in control up to that point, He came off and we lost our balance. I wanted to keep our attacking players on the pitch. We had Alex Revell, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Danny Newton and we wanted to nick a goal at the end. Unfortunately we lost to a quality strike it has to be said. It was a great finish into the bottom corner. It happens and it is what it is. If there are any regrets about it it’s the fact we defended brilliantly up to that point. But I thought we should have attacked with more belief. We need to stay calm [in terms of our post-match analysis]. There were four minutes left. I would have been saying the same things if we had drawn the match and taken them back to the Lamex. We needed to do more going forward.

You did afford them a lot of possession...

We know what they’re like here. Their fans get behind them. They’ve been beating teams here. I thought we just needed to weather the storm early on and quieten them down and take control which we did. They did have possession but they weren’t hurting us. I said at half-time we needed to go on the front foot more and go on and win the game. Until Seddon came off and we lost balance we were in charge.

How is Steve Seddon?

He’s in hospital in A&E with a neck injury. He’s ok, I’ve been talking to him. We’re with him there. He was talking on the pitch.

How much of a blow is that FA Cup defeat to you and the club?

It hurts me personally. In terms of the club we relied on the FA Cup for a number of things. For me I wanted to go as far as possible in the FA Cup. It’s what we were built on. I’m gutted. We’ll come back stronger.

I know you’re desperately disappointed but are there are positives you can take?

Defensively we played well. Our back four was brilliant. Their front four was very good. I thought we handled them well for large periods. If we’re disappointed about anything it was the fact we didn’t go forward with enough conviction. We’ll dust ourselves down and look to the league now. We’ll be back at work on Monday and we’ll go again.

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