Bottom of the table and staring down the barrel in January, a 3-1 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford gave us lift-off and, from there, Wayne’s charges embarked on a seven-game unbeaten run to pull themselves clear of the drop zone.
Further wins at home to Liverpool and away to Arsenal were followed up this week by a crucial 4-2 home triumph over relegation rivals Derby County and then the result that got us mathematically over the line on Friday – a long-overdue 2-1 win over Chelsea’s athletic and powerful youngsters, despite having to play with 10 men for nearly an hour following the sending-off of defender Christian Maghoma.
We’ve still got one game left to play with Manchester City set to visit us at Stevenage next month but for ex-Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne, the effort shown behind the scenes by the players and support staff to get us out of the mire has been crucial.
“I’m really pleased,” smiled the 46-year-old who, in his first season in charge since succeeding the late Ugo Ehiogu, knows that the story is only really just beginning as he looks to develop our talented crop of young professionals.
“There’s been a lot of hard work from everyone but the main core of work has been done on the training field.
“We spoke to the players when we were in a difficult situation a couple of months ago and said that the way we have to get out of this is to continue to work hard on the training field and every one of them has done that.
“This is the reward – that they’ve managed to get 17 points from seven games and all credit to them for their application, their belief, their enthusiasm and passion to go and do what we’ve asked.
“Every single one of them has done that and that’s been evident in the results and some of the performances. Now it’s vital that we continue that hard work as everyone tries to learn and improve.”