Mansfield game was like ‘a pre-season’ performance, says Stevenage boss

Graham Westley

Graham Westley - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley gave first starts this season to three players as squad is decimated by injuries

Graham Westley said Stevenage’s performance in their defeat to Mansfield Town on Saturday was akin to a ‘pre-season side’.

With injuries stacking up for the Boro boss ahead of the game, Westley brought in Danny Johnson (Cardiff City) and Bruno Andrade (QPR) for their first appearances for the club since signing on loan last week, while also handing a full first-team debut to Academy player Ben Kennedy in midfield.

Boro lacked fluidity according to Westley, who also said it was ‘difficult’ at the moment with 10 players sidelined through injury.

Westley said: “It was a fairly even game. They didn’t offer a lot going forward, neither did we.

“I’m not sure either side did enough to win it. It was a bit nip and tuck in the first half. We probably had the better of the chances. Daisy made a good save just before half time, but Bruno could have put us ahead, and Danny could have put us ahead.

“The second half was in the same vain. They got the early goal and it was a bit backs to the wall for them and us trying to throw everything at it, trying to find the answer.

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“We looked like a side that had the number of debutants that we had, that was trying to find a way of playing that wasn’t sure of its patterns, that looked a bit disorganised.

“It looked a little like a pre-season side. When you saw us at set plays, players were not quite sure what they were doing.

“They’ve had a couple of days together but the fluidity we were showing when we were fully fit a couple of weeks ago disintegrated as the changes were forced upon us.

“It’s difficult at the moment; we haven’t got the biggest squad and we know we’re highly dependent on our top players.

“And when you bring lads in to make debuts and step up a level you’re always likely to see the type of performance we saw.”