Let me start by thanking everybody at Stevenage for such a warm welcome back into the Boro hot seat.
I can still clearly recall our first League Cup tie back in 2010, when we entertained Portsmouth. We had just been promoted from the Conference; they had just been relegated to the Championship. We had been four divisions apart the previous season.
Last weekend, the lads won a clean sheet at Fratton Park to secure our League One status for next season which was important. It is quite incredible how far Stevenage FC has come.
Now we have to restore the winning momentum to our game as we aim to make sure that our club can rejoin the record breaking ranks next season.
Today’s opponents are in a similar situation to Stevenage’s normal end of season; their season is well and truly alive in April.
We completely understand just how focussed that will make them. So our preparation has been geared to defeating a highly motivated team.
So far this season, my personal record against them is two wins to one defeat; the aggregate score has been 7-5. So I know just how well they can do.
As always, our philosophy here at home will be unchanged; we attack sides home and away but the momentum of The Lamex never fails to add tempo, urgency and energy to our lads.
Today is about posting an essential three points. If we do not win then we will not finish in the top half.
The lads do not want to let that happen and I do not believe that they will. I have been impressed by so many players since I have been back at Boro. It has been enjoyable to feel the desire to learn, improve and win.
On its day, already, this team will give any opponent a good hiding. Ask Sheffield United. Consistency is the key. And then by improving we can be a real force. Unity has always been a major attribute at Stevenage.
Let’s be relentless in the unity or desire and ambition we all show to win really well today.