GW looks ahead to FA Cup weekend

Hartlepool United v Stevenage

GRAHAM WESTLEY says his team have come a long way since they last faced Hartlepool United back in August.

It needed two late goals from Byron Harrison and Scott Laird to salvage a point against Saturday’s FA Cup First Round opponents, in what was a lacklustre display from Boro.

However Westley’s team are now the form side in League 1 having registered 13 points from their last five matches, and the Boro boss is looking for more of the same ahead of their trip to the Victoria Ground.

“There’s no question we have come on this season,” he said. “When we looked at the video of the game we had at our place [against Hartlepool] we couldn’t even identify ourselves. There’s no resemblance between the team we were then and the team we are now, so we’ve got better which we hope to continue to do.

“Their [Hartlepool’s] personnel is largely the same [from August] but their system has altered, but it’s not about that, it’s about us. They will be thinking about what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been going about our work and the differences of what we’ve been doing at home and away.

“The onus is on the side that wants to win the game – and we want to win the game. We’re going there with a game plan that we believe can do the job, and we trust ourselves to go up there and win the football match.

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“The bonus of playing a side from your own league is that you know them and you know what they can offer. You will play on the type of surface you are used to playing on so there are advantages to playing a side from the same league.

“There’s a different feel to cup games and a different mindset that you need to develop. We had to win our way through a difficult FA Cup first round game against MK Dons away from home last year and we’ve got every intention of doing the same again this time.”