Play-offs must be Boro’s top priority

PUBLISHED: 09:28 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 May 2010

Boro’s Mark Hughes in spectacular action in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Salisbury City

Boro’s Mark Hughes in spectacular action in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Salisbury City

BORO are going for glory on two fronts this season but boss Mark Stimson knows where his priorities lie. Fresh from reaching the semi-finals of the FA Carlsberg Trophy, Stimson said: Our biggest thing now is to get into the play-offs. We ve got a fantas

BORO are going for glory on two fronts this season but boss Mark Stimson knows where his priorities lie.

Fresh from reaching the semi-finals of the FA Carlsberg Trophy, Stimson said: "Our biggest thing now is to get into the play-offs.

"We've got a fantastic chance and we want to take it.

"The Trophy will be important when we get there."

Boro travel to one-time Conference leaders Oxford United on Saturday and old rivals Woking on Tuesday night.

Stimson continued: "It's now another two tough away games.

"Oxford have just started another run; they were quite pleased with a draw here before when they just started to struggle."

Top scorer Steve Morison is serving a one-game suspension on Saturday, while midfielder Adam Miller is an injury doubt.

"It will give another player an opportunity," added Stimson. "Others that have come in have done well."

Woking will be out for revenge after conceding a late winner in the earlier meeting at Broadhall Way.

"The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic in the home game and it's another one all the players will be really up for.

"We could only have got a draw at home which would have been an unfair result. The fitness was there to get a last minute winner."

Boro have been drawn away to Stimson's former club Grays Athletic in the two-legged Trophy semi-finals.

The first leg is at the Recreation Ground a week on Saturday (March 10) with the return at Broadhall Way a week later.

Stimson said: "I would like it to have been the final if I was honest. It's the next best thing though.

"We expect a tough game because eight of my side from last season were playing in their win at Welling at the weekend.

"We will be confident but respect the opposition.

"It's important to keep the second leg alive. We must remember that it's over two games."

And Stimson, gunning for a third successive Trophy final win as a manager, added: "I like the Trophy and to finish the season playing live on Sky is really fantastic.

"We're not going to take our foot off the gas either in this."

Two other Conference teams, Kidderminster Harriers and Northwich Victoria, will contest the other semi-final.

Boro's extra games mean two other fixtures have been rearranged.

Boro's away game at runaway Nationwide Conference leaders Dagenham and Redbridge is now on Tuesday, March 20.

And the home game with Rushden and Diamonds is now on Tuesday, April 17.

Rushden sensationally sacked former Boro manager Graham Westley after Saturday's 2-2 draw at Aldershot.

Garry Hill and ex-Boro number two Kevin Hales are the new management team at Nene Park.

Boro now have 17 league and cup fixtures before the end of April but Stimson is unconcerned.

"I don't see the number of games being a problem.

"We've strength in depth and that's why we signed all the players in January.

"It will be impossible to rely on the same 11 or 12 players until the end of the season. Whoever gets picked will give 110 per cent."

P Hospitality packages are still available for the Trophy semi-final second leg tie at Broadhall Way on March 17.

Please call Boro's commercial manager Clive Abrey on 01438 218073 for further details.

FA CARLSBERG TROPHY

Semi-final draw

* Kidderminster Harriers v Northwich Victoria

* Grays Athletic v Stevenage Boro

First legs on Saturday, March 10, and return legs on March 17.


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