Stevenage boss Dino Maamria: I thought we were better side against Premier League Watford

PUBLISHED: 10:44 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:44 28 July 2018

Stevenage FC First Team Manager Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage FC First Team Manager Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria has hailed his squad after they narrowly lost to Premier League Watford on Friday night despite being the better team.

Boro boss Maamria has been impressed with the way his new-look side have gelled on and off the pitch this summer after bringing in a raft of new signings.

An 88th minute goal by Watford’s Andre Gray gave the top flight team an undeserved 1-0 victory over an impressive home side.

Maamria’s side may have fallen to their second loss in four days against a top flight team after the late defeat against Crystal Palace at Broadhall Way on Tuesday, but again, there were many positives that the League Two side could take from the game.

Maamria said: “I thought we played well, especially the second half. We were well organised, well drilled.

“We created a few chances and could have scored, especially through Alex Revell’s header.

“it’s been a good six weeks. The most imnportant thing is I’ve got a full squad to pick from next week against Tranmere.

“Overall it was a good game and I think everyone enjoyed it.

“I thought we were the better team.”

Goalkeeper Paul Farman showed his worth to the side with a series of emphatic blocks in the first half, even if he will be slightly disappointed at the defensive mix-up that led to Gray’s late goal.

Manager Maamria agreed the former Lincoln keeper with exceptional distribution, among a host of other attributes, had another good game for Stevenage.

He said: “Paul was in inspired form. I thought he was fantastic througout the 90 minutes.

“We adjusted a few things at half time. I thought the players application was fantastic.

“The most important thing is that it’s not just about next week against Tranmere, it’s about the while season.

“We’ve got to keep building, doing certain habits, day in, day out and improving.

“if we keep improving as we have done throughout pre-season I think we’ll deserve to finish where we finish.”

Vicarage Road boss Javi Gracia brought a strong squad to Broadhall Way including former Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes, Etienne Capoue, Jack Rodwell, Daryl Janmaat and Troy Deeney all feature.

Ben Wilmot started the match for the Hornets – even if the former Boro centre-half was played as a defensive midifielder.

Maamria added: “When you look at the fixture list you’d always like a home game to start the season.

“We’ve got that. We’ll take on a Tranmere side full of confidence. We know that newly-promoted sides can be dangerous and have momentum.

“But it’s about us. We’ve just played two Premier League teams and have been arguably the better team in both games.

“We more than matched strong Watford and Crystal Palace sides.”

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