Foster was our ‘outstanding performer’ - Westley

Boro boss praises stand-in midfielder for man-of-the-match display

Graham Westley heaped praise on Luke Foster after the defender’s man-of-the-match display whilst playing out of position at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

A Jon Ashton header in the final two minutes proved the difference between the two sides as Boro recorded their first away win since November 2, but afterwards Westley praised Foster as Boro’s ‘outstanding performer’.

“I think he was probably our outstanding performer,” Westley said.

“He scarcely put a foot wrong. He dominated the challenge, dominated the aerial battle, won his tackles on the floor, and he played off the back of it.

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“For a centre-half we know he’s got good feet, and we know he can play but he showed real composure, real quality and a forward thrust which was great to see for him.”

Westley was pleased with his side’s performance and the way they put pressure on their hosts and stopped them from playing their normal game, especially in the first half.

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“I think if you talk about classic away performances, coming and getting on top of the home environment, coming and dominating possession in the first half, coming and frustrating the home crowd, and being organised and solid and dealing with what they threw at us in the second half…then it was a classic away performance and a very well-earned three points.

“Our focus was on dominating possession of the ball, working the football, taking responsibility of the ball and building our chances.

“We played very well without particularly cutting them open in the first half, but we kept them under a lot of pressure, worked them very hard, and put in a very good possession filled and controlled first half performance.”

There was some confusion over who got the final touch on the ball after Ashton had headed Peter Winn’s corner goalwards on 88 minutes.

Crewe goalkeeper Rhys Taylor, two Crewe defenders and Boro striker Byron Harrison were all in the mix as the ball bounced off one of them and over the goal line, but Westley said his side had been working on set pieces and was delighted with the outcome of their endeavours.

“It was a terrific ball in from Peter Winn who had not been on the pitch that long. He got his moment, his set play.

“We’ve been focusing on the quality of deliver from our set play boys and a brilliant delivery from him and Ash dominated the aerial space and got a great header on it.”

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