Stevenage boss Graham Westley has admitted to feeling a sense of relief after Stevenage were relegated following the 3-1 home loss to Bristol City at the Lamex on Easter Monday.

In an open and honest pre-weekend press conference this morning, the Boro boss revealed the threat of the drop had haunted him since the start of the season.

He said: “If I’m honest this week’s been a real relief, which sounds a bizarre thing to say, but anyone close to me will know that last summer I was really worried about what I’d inherited here and I probably quietly was thinking that relegation was a distinct possibility and I’ve never publicised that, of course I wouldn’t, but I knew what I was looking at.

“I’m experienced enough to look at a football squad and know what’s in front of me.

“The results spoke for themselves when I came back and what I was watching on the training ground and what I was watching in games did not give me much heart.

“I made it pretty clear that I thought a mass culling was required, we weren’t able to do that, lads had contracts that meant they ran into this year and as the season began and games were being played, I think we had five points after 10 games, I knew I was right.

“I was trying all I knew, and more besides, to get results, but in the end if you are an experienced manager and without being complacent you do know a winning way and you just cannot get people to do the basics; unfortunately it’s very difficult to win points.

“This week has almost been a relief in a sense that I’ve known it’s coming for so, so long and in my inner gut and in my inner feelings I’ve probably been living with the fact that whatever I’ve tried to do I’ve not been able to get the response out of the mass of players and I’m not sure in many instances that the response is there to get I’m really not.

“It’s been a bit of a relief I think for me to think well at least we can leave the past behind now, there’s no excuses, I hate excuses, but there are reasons for performances some times, I honestly think the group when I arrived, that started of the season as it did and has taken us through the year hasn’t had enough of the characteristics that were required.”

Stevenage have two games left to play in League 1, with their final home game of the season on Saturday against Walsall before they head to Brentford the following Saturday.