Boro boss up for challenge

Gary Smith: Feeling the pressure

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Gary Smith admitted he is facing the toughest challenge of his career after watching his Stevenage side lose 2-0 to Colchester.

After a goalless first half in Saturday's League One clash at Broadhall Way, Jabo Ibehre struck for the first time in seven games to give Colchester the lead on 62 minutes with a fine header.

And Ibehre made the game safe after 73 minutes when he tapped in following a fine run from Gavin Massey to lift Colchester out of the relegation zone.

Boro are now just seven points above the drop and Smith admits his side must win a quarter of their remaining games to survive.

"It's turning into the toughest challenge I've ever had no doubt about it, but I'm up for it, and I know he guys are," he said.

"It's a poor result at home against a side who are trying to get themselves out of trouble.

"The challenge for us is a simple one. We probably need three wins out of the last 12 games to secure our status which I would absolutely fully back my team to go and do.

"As we well know in this league, if you get a result it can change things.

"If you lose six games on the spin you absolutely feel the pressure, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't, the challenge is a real big one and as a young manager it's a challenge that I'm up for. It will stand me in very good stead. But we'll keep fighting and battling on."