Gallery: Performances will improve with fitness - Westley
Boro boss Graham Westley admitted that a lack of match fitness from some key players cost his team maximum points against Altrincham on Saturday. Westley was forced to push both Andy Drury and Darren Murphy into first team action despite only just return
Boro boss Graham Westley admitted that a lack of match fitness from some key players cost his team maximum points against Altrincham on Saturday.
Westley was forced to push both Andy Drury and Darren Murphy into first team action despite only just returning from injury while loanee Michael Brough has not tasted first team football since mid-August for Torquay.
And the Boro chief admitted that his side weren't dominant enough in the midfield areas with Stevenage relying on Michael Bostwick's injury time header to rescue a point.
"You can't be without the likes of (David) Bridges, (Joel) Byrom and Murphy and Drury with no match minutes in their legs, and expect your midfield to be as dominant as I know we will be.
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"We need our big players back and fit. I just mentioned four names there across the middle of the park and without them we are hanging on to games in midfield rather than dominating them.
"I'm sure that those lads can dominate in this league and I think it's important that we give them that support and encouragement rather than getting on their backs."
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Altrincham took the lead through Robert Williams' first half strike and Boro struggled to get any kind of rhythm going forward until the visitors began to sit too deep in the second period allowing Westley's men to pump balls into their penalty area.
Boro will have to show more imagination against Luton Town on Tuesday evening and Westley will be keeping his fingers cross that Byrom, and the intelligence his passing brings, recovers in time for the trip to Kenilworth Road
"If we are honest about it, that lack of energy in the middle of the park was a big issue to us (against Altrincham).
"We couldn't get on top and we didn't really have the passing options in there.
"It's a disappointing result but I think you've got to give the players some understanding. There are lads that haven't had any football at all being thrown in at the deep end and I think we paid the price for a lack of match fitness."
Westley gave Altrincham credit for their performance, which merited a share of the spoils, but is confident once his players gain full match sharpness his side will have the guile to break these kinds of teams down.
"Their away record is very good," added Westley, who also saw his side drop two points against Grays on Tuesday. "They have got a very solid back four - they don't really go anywhere and they make things very congested in the middle of the park.
"They make life difficult and they are not an easy side to break down.
"I do think we showed over the 90 minutes that we carved out enough chances that could have seen us win it.
"At our best with our front line team out there fit and flying I'm confident we would have won both games.