Frustrations abound for Stevenage boss Alex Revell after defeat to Exeter City

Stevenage FC manager Alex Revell

Alex Revell took 40 minutes to emerge from the dressing room following Stevenage's defeat to Exeter City. - Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO

A clearly frustrated Alex Revell said there was no one thing he could put his finger on for Stevenage's hugely disappointing second-half performance in the 1-0 defeat against Exeter City.

Boro had gone into the break trailing to a Rory McArdle header but the boss would have been content with the majority of his side's display.

They created some good chances, the nearest to finding the back of the net being a thumping drive by Luke Norris that smashed off the top of the crossbar.

But the second period lacked any of those positive moments, with only one half-blocked shot testing the Grecians keeper.

"It was a bit of everything," said the boss. "We want quality from out wide, we wanted movement in the box and it doesn’t just come down to a couple of things. 

"They defended excellently and got the ball away from their goal. That meant we had to start again and then again. 

"We became frustrated and forced things.

"The first half showed what we are trying to do and that we have a clear plan, like we have every game. If one of the two chances we get goes in, it’s a different story. 

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"It's frustrating. They did the simple things well and when they needed to clear their lines, they did it. 

"It was a tough night."

It had been a busy day too with Stevenage securing the services of experienced goalkeeper David Stockdale on an emergency loan from Wycombe Wanderers just hours before kick-off.

He was needed because of an ankle injury to Jamie Cumming, picked up in the dramatic 2-1 win over Grimsby Town on Saturday, although the manager revealed it isn't too serious.

He said: "David came in because Jamie’s injury isn’t really long enough to warrant bringing someone in [until the end of the season].

"David has experience and is a fantastic character to have around, he has real stature. He’s a really good addition in the short-term." 

And he isn't the only new signing over the last month with Stevenage signing a total of seven players in the window, something which Revell says is necessary because of the run of games they have coming up.

"It is just relentless," he said. "With the Crawley game being changed [to February 16], it is now six weeks of Saturday-Tuesday. 

"We always said we wanted a smaller squad to keep everyone settled and together but ultimately it is really hard to keep everyone fit so we are going to need a bigger squad

"We had to bring players in but I didn't just want numbers, I wanted players who would improve us. 

"I really think the ones we have brought in do that. 

But they have to be ready and understand what we are doing [quickly] because the games are coming thick and fast."