Stevenage boss Dino Maamria ‘already planning for next season’

PUBLISHED: 11:55 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:07 08 May 2018

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria at Stevenage FC Training Ground. Picture: BEN BEALE

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria at Stevenage FC Training Ground. Picture: BEN BEALE

©2018 Ben Beale MoD Crown - all rights reserved

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria said he is ‘already planning for next season’ as he reflects on Boro’s 2017/18 campaign.

With the season wrapped up on Saturday, Boro’s boss, still less than 10 games into the job, is wasting no time preparing for August after navigating the final weeks of a roller coaster season at the Lamex.

Having replaced Darren Sarll in the dugout in March, Maamria - a Boro man during his playing career and a coach under Graham Westley - won 11 points from nine games, taking the club to 55 points and 16th place in the League Two table.

After the whistle blew to end his first spell as boss, the Tunisian said: “I am delighted the season is finished; we need a lot of change as I want to build a team that competes every game, plays on ambition and plays on the front foot.

“This week I am going to have one-on-one conversations with the players. I want players that want to stay at the football club, want to play for the badge and want to play for our fans.

“Hopefully by June I we’ll have a much better team and one that the fans are proud to support.

“They support us in great numbers and today they were fantastic. I heard them throughout the game so I want to thank them for that and wish them a good and safe summer. I look forward to seeing them in pre-season.”

Despite the quality of the support on the sunny Saturday, Maamria’s side slipped to a 1-0 defeat away to promoted Wycombe Wanderers on the final day of the season, with Matt Bloomfield’s first half goal all the league’s second highest scorers needed.

Maamria said: “It was always going to be a difficult game. If we had got a point out of it then fantastic but it wasn’t meant to happen.

“Up until yesterday I didn’t even know who was going to play as we had so many injuries in the last few weeks and the back four and midfield had never played with each other so I knew it would be a difficult task.

“The positives for us is that we finished the game with three 17 year olds (Arthur Iontton, Dylan O’Donnell, Andronicos Georgiou) and they all did well.

“The second half was much better. We kept possession better and moved forward with it. I thought we kept them at bay and limited them to hardly any chances.”

Maamria also paid tribute to the returning Ryan Johnson, who slotted in at centre-back after two years out of the side to put in a ‘decent’ performance alongside Jack King.

Johnson joined Maamria at Nuneaton Town in January before both men returned to the Lamex towards the end of the season.

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