Stevenage boss looks ahead to tomorrow’s FA Cup clash with Stourbridge

GRAHAM WESTLEY says his team are under no illusions tomorrow’s FA Cup tie against Stourbridge will be a walkover.

Stevenage know more than most about the quirks of the competition after knocking out Premier League side Newcastle United in the third round last season, and the Stevenage manager is taking nothing for granted ahead of the trip to the west Midlands.

And to prove he is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to make the third round, the team trained at a different location yesterday to get used to a surface similar to that of their Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division opponents.

“I don’t go into any cup tie thinking there’s a David or Goliath,” said Westley. “I don’t think it pays to go in with an inferiority complex and I don’t think it pays to go in with a superiority complex.

“We know about non-league football – we were there 18 months ago – and we became the champions of non-league. I’ve been a champion manager at non-league level twice and I understand the game and what it takes to win at those levels.

“We’ve got the upmost respect for any team that’s got this far and we know we’re going to have to do a truly professional job if we’re going to get into the hat for the third round.

“They’ve got attributes that we need to deal with, and they’ve got weaknesses that we will try to exploit. But we’ve got a decent side here that is used to winning football matches, so we will go there with an expectation that we will win the tie but we know just how hard we will have to work to make sure we come through.

“The fact we’ve got the experience of going into the hat and drawing a big gun and knocking a big gun out is probably an added incentive for us. We know what the FA Cup is all about, it’s a fantastic competition.”

The club says it’s still waiting on conformation from Arsenal on whether Luke Freeman and Chuks Aneke will be allowed to feature.