Robbo wants to defend record

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 January 2011

Mark Roberts. Photo: Kevin Coleman

Mark Roberts. Photo: Kevin Coleman

© Kevin Coleman 2010

Boro skipper determined to continue good defensive record

CAPTAIN Mark Roberts intends to maintain Boro’s good defensive record for a long time to come.

Stevenage go into Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Reading on the back of two clean sheets and with one of the best goals against records in the country – a record the Boro skipper has no intention of relinquishing any time soon.

“We’ve had a very good defensive record all season, and that doesn’t come just from the defence but the whole team,” he told The Comet.

“I was checking the stats for goals conceded and I think we’re fourth in the country behind Chelsea, QPR and Brighton so that speaks well of us and long may that continue.”

Reading boss Brian McDermott was at the Lamex Stadium on Tuesday night to see Boro beat Rotherham 3-0 and Roberts doesn’t expect Reading to underestimate the threat Boro will pose them on Saturday.

“I think with the win we had against Newcastle they’ll show us a great deal of respect but I think they’d have done that anyway,” the 27-year-old said.

“They’ve got a fantastic manager in McDermott, who obviously will look at us and look at our strengths. I’m sure they’ll be ready for us like we’ll be ready for them.”

The club’s recent run of good form has been the result of hitting some form in front of goal and, despite no one taking on the mantle of goalscorer, Roberts believes it is important everybody continues to contribute.

“Even last season we didn’t really have the 25 or 30 goals a season striker, the goals came from all over the pitch,” he said.

“That’s very important, there’s never a pressure or focus on one player to score all the goals because everyone is capable of it.”

The Boro skipper revealed he hasn’t yet found time to watch the Newcastle game because of the club’s intense fixture schedule but he says it’s something he’ll get around to at some point.

“We’ve been so busy with training and preparing for matches that I’ve not had a chance to look at it,” he explained.

“It’s probably something I’ll look back at when I’ve got a bit of time. It was a very proud achievement for everyone involved.”

Saturday’s match is the third in a spell of 11 games in 36 days for Boro but Roberts says that is not a problem for a squad that is hoping to build some momentum towards a push up the table.

“It was very frustrating before Christmas,” explained the Boro skipper.

“We were trying to get some momentum going because we knew we had to pick up our league form. When you have one game in five or six weeks it is very difficult and all the lads will say they love playing football so Tuesday-Saturday football is brilliant for everyone.”

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