Match preview: Stevenage vs Southend United

Roarie Deacon

Roarie Deacon - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley believes home-field advantage could swing Saturday’s League Two clash with Southend in Stevenage’s favour.

Boro’s boss has linked the current state of the pitch at the Lamex Stadium to the club’s injury crisis in recent weeks but today he has called it an advantage ahead of Saturday’s match.

“A big factor for me is knowing the surface and knowing how to get the best out of it. We’ll have a big advantage in that regard,” he said.

“The game at the weekend is going to be played on very difficult pitch and I’m sure it will play a part. Knowing and being able to deal with it will be an important factor.

“Your home ground is an advantage; ours certainly is with the state of the pitch. It can be a massive advantage, even though it doesn’t give the better of our assets the best chance to put their skills on show. We know [the pitch] well and we’re ready for the task.”

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The last time the team’s met, Phil Brown’s Shrimpers won 2-0 at Roots Hall on August 16. Westley said Boro were very early in their evolution at that stage but complimented Southend.

“They’re as good a side as we’ve played. We were very early in our evolution but they were a strong outfit,” said Westley.

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“When you think we’ve gone to them and loaned in Lee Barnard and now he can’t even get in their 18. That tells you everything you need to know about the strength of the club.”

Westley is waiting on the injury status of a number of players ahead of the game.

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