Boro ready for Exeter challenge

Stevenage set for npower League 1 opener

BORO boss Graham Westley says he is confident that his side will quickly adapt to life in League 1.

Stevenage entertain Exeter City this Saturday in their first ever match in the third tier of English football, and although Westley says that one or two players may find the step up a little tougher than others his squad is determined to make sure that its stay in npower League 1 is not a brief one.

“The boys are improving all the time, aren’t they?” Westley said.

“They just get better every day when they come to work. They try and make sure they’re a better player when they walk out of the building than when they walked in. They have definitely made that improvement.

“They’ll learn lessons. I’m sure one or two will have a difficult road as they learn to live well in League 1 but they’re learners, all of them. They don’t take no for an answer and I’m sure they’ll become better players game by game, week by week and across the course of the season.”

Stevenage finished their pre-season at Corby Town on Tuesday evening where a Ben May goal helped Westley’s men to a 1-1 draw. Before that Boro had beaten Dagenham & Redbridge, who were relegated from League 1 last season, 2-1 on Saturday and following that result Westley said his players were looking relaxed ahead of an Exeter game which his squad is treating like they would any other league match.

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“It’s another league game, our next league game, a game we want to win,” Westley told The Comet.

“The focus is good, (there is) a nice relaxation, a nice sense of calm and a readiness to go and win football matches again.

“Pre-season is about results, it’s never too early to win football matches. It’s also about other aspects of winning like the togetherness of the team, the improvement of the performance, the development of the individual player, like fitness coming together.

“I think we got into a good place last weekend. We looked strong, we looked organised, we looked ready to play games and we really did enjoy ourselves at Dagenham. We’re in a good place...and I think as we get ready for the weekend we’ll feel in good order.”

When Macclesfield Town visited the Lamex for the opening game last season more than 3,500 fans turned up for the game - a figure Westley would be delighted to see again for Saturday’s match.

“I think it’d be incredible if we got that many in,” the Boro manager said. “I think it’s a difficult time of the year, a lot of people are away and we’ve seen that in pre-season attendances and even at the open day last weekend.

“Attendances can always be affected but I’m sure that whoever is around in the town will be down there.”