It’s been a good week on the training ground - Robbo

Skipper/caretaker manager hails team spirit in wake of Graham Westley departure

STEVENAGE interim player/manager Mark Roberts says the team has enjoyed a good week on the training ground.

Roberts and head of youth Paul Hilton have both taken training this week following Graham Westley’s departure to Preston North End last Friday, and it seems the recent unrest has only served to bring the players closer together ahead of their trip to Scunthorpe on Saturday.

When asked jokingly if there had been a sudden decline in sprint drills this week, the 28-year-old responded: “We’ve maintained our training programme, we work hard at this football club and nothing has changed there. The lads have responded magnificently and they’ve worked really hard and it’s been a good week on the training ground.

“We’ve all chipped in and that’s the kind of environment we’ve got, everyone works for each other and it’s never just about one person, and that showed in the win last Saturday against Rochdale.

“[That win] reflected the character in the dressing room. They’re a terrific bunch of lads and I fully expected them to respond in the way they did. 5-1 was a great scoreline, and although it might sound strange, we were still disappointed not to keep a clean sheet.”

He continued: “I’ve been picking the team so it’s been different, there’s no denying that. But at the same time we’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible. The lads have been a big part of that and although there’s been a bit more responsibility on my shoulders, as captain sometimes I would have had that anyway.”

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The press were under instruction from the club not to ask questions about Westley and the search for his replacement, but Roberts made it clear that he and his teammates will do all they can to maintain their impressive away form when they head to Glanford Park.

He said: “I said to the lads before the Rochadale match that our record away from home is good and we need to keep that up. Scunthorpe have drawn a lot of games but they beat us when they came to the Lamex so we’ll have to make sure we’re at our best this weekend.”

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