Westley’s plans for next season are already underway
12:03 01 May 2014
© Kevin Coleman 2013
Graham Westley has already started planning for next season and has outlined the type of players he wants to bring to Stevenage.
Speaking at a press conference today (Thursday), the manager said he wants players who share his passion for the game and obsession with winning.
“We need to get back to winning games,” he said.
“I want players here who can win games consistently, who have got that desire, professionalism, ambition, obsession with winning. I want to get people in who want to do the job right and be successful; if we do then we will be.”
He added: “One of the benefits, if you can call it that, of getting relegated early is that I’ve known for longer what we will be doing next year.
“I’m already planning and I’m not going to rest until I feel I’ve done the work to get us back to winning ways.
“I can’t stand being where we’ve been or doing what we’ve been doing; it grates at my insides. I need to restore [the winning way] on a personal and club point of view.”
The prospect of bringing in new players who share his enthusiasm and will buy into his philosophy is an exciting one for Westley after a season of toiling with players who didn’t.
In fact, it has the boss feeling optimistic for the season ahead.
“I think the biggest difference between this summer and last summer is I can choose the players I want to work with. That’s it in a nutshell,” he explained.
“It’s been very difficult working with this group of lads. People have said to me you get a feeling they have given themselves to the shirt; I never had that feeling.
“I’ve been pushing and pushing and pushing and trust me I know how to push players to get a performance. I’ve cajoled them, I’ve put an arm around them, I’ve kicked their butts and it doesn’t matter what I’ve done, I can’t get them to take those shirts off and feel as though they’ve done the winning job.
“We’ve forgotten jobs at set play, failed to put patterns of play together that we’ve worked on all week. It’s like playing with a shadow or a ghost of the team you’ve trained with all week. It’s like you’ve done no work with them all week.
He added: “I’ve never worked so hard, and I shouldn’t have to work as hard as I have, to get the best out of a football team. Jon Ashton said it best at the fans’ forum, the lads haven’t given their heart and soul to the club.
“The idea of working with lads with quality and attitude is exciting.”
Westley was quick to add that change will not lead to a quick fix but starting his pre-season work early has given Boro a good chance to see a marked improvement when the 2014/15 season begins.
“You can’t say I’ll get 20 new players and everything will be good because then we’re taking about them gelling together.
“We need to start early so while others are resting we’re working. I don’t want to go into next season with excuses; I want to be going in ready to go.”