Match Preview: Westley does not expect Rowett uncertainty to be a factor against Burton Albion

Graham Westley

Graham Westley - Credit: Archant

Stevenage boss Graham Westley does not believe the uncertainty surrounding the future of Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett will affect the visitors’ players when they turn out at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday.

Rowett, whose Albion side are second in the Sky Bet League Two table, has attracted the attentions of Championship side Birmingham City who sacked manager Lee Clark on Monday.

He has been given permission by his current club to speak to the Blues, however Westley does not expect this to be a factor when they meet on Saturday.

“I’m sure the team [Burton Albion] will be in a state of mind where they could lose their manager, but that’s not going to help them is it?” he said.

“It’s not going to help them in terms of what their ambitions are, so whether he goes or whether he doesn’t they’re at Burton and their futures, their careers are going to be defined by what goes on at Burton.

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“I’m sure the players are professional enough to be where they are in the league right now, I’m sure they’re professional enough to keep their minds focussed on the job, irrespective of what the manager does or doesn’t do.

“I’m sure some of them maybe excited that he’s going there, thinking perhaps that’s going to unlock a door for them as players.

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“Maybe they might see it as an opportunity so they’ll be wanting to make sure that they keep their standards high because he knows them very well and there may well be an opportunity there so I’m sure there’s lots of reasons why they’ll be as focused as ever, not least their league position which is what they will want to consolidate.”

Westley knows a quintet of the Albion squad well having worked with them during his time as manager of both Stevenage and Preston North End

“I’ve employed five of their players, signed four of them myself,” he added.

“Lads like Phil Edwards, [he] was a great servant to me here, [Shane] Cansdell-Sherriff I had a Preston, Stuart Bevan I had at Preston, [Jon] Mousinho was here twice on loan and here the first spell and Lucas Akins I inherited here so I know the qualities of some of their players.

“Some of them won’t play at the weekend now so they’ve got those issues to deal with, but they have some quality players in their side and it doesn’t surprise me at all to see them doing so well.”

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