Our biggest test lies in front of us - Westley

GRAHAM Westley believes Boro s biggest test this season lies ahead of them. Boro have the chance to complete a historic Blue Square Premier and FA Trophy double against Barrow on Saturday but the Boro boss believes that how the players deal with the prais

GRAHAM Westley believes Boro's biggest test this season lies ahead of them.

Boro have the chance to complete a historic Blue Square Premier and FA Trophy double against Barrow on Saturday but the Boro boss believes that how the players deal with the praise they've received in recent weeks ahead of the game will be one of their greatest challenges.

"One of the things about us, we've had a lot of praise in the last couple of weeks, we've won the league championship and there's been an awful lot of credit given to everybody around the football club and deservedly so, we've worked very hard to get to where we are," he said.

"Our biggest test lies in front of us because when you get given praise - I think Kipling wrote about it in his poem If, he talked about triumph and disaster being impostors and he talked about the need to treat them both the same and I think never has those words been truer than now.


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"We've got a lot of praise hanging around our heads, have we got the strength of character, have we got the mental strength to cope with all the praise we've been given? Have we got carried away with ourselves? Can we sustain the work ethic? Have we got the fire in our bellies to go to win the next Trophy, to do our job? All those questions are ones that people are going to be looking at and asking and they're the ones we've got to answer."

A good number of Boro players have experience of playing at Wembley and Westley feels that will help them concentrate on winning the game.

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"There's two aspects," he said. "The occasion is something it obviously helps to have experienced. You're familiar with the surroundings, you're familiar with the way the day works, you're familiar with all aspects of what goes on.

"Does that help? Of course it does. You get to focus much more on the game than on the occasion and in the end it's the game you come here to win. It's the game that produces the trophy. It's the game that gives you the rewards and it's the game from our point of view that gives us the opportunity to win the double.

"I think experience of the occasion is definitely a benefit but it's the game that needs to be won."

Barrow were dispatched 4-0 the last time the sides clashed but Westley insists his side won't underestimate the Bluebirds.

"I honestly felt when we beat them 4-0 that they were better than 4-0 losers. I think had we won one or two nil it would have been a much fairer reflection of the game," he said.

"We were clinical in our finishing and we got to that result so I guess you've got to give us credit but none the less they put in a decent performance and showed some good patterns of play in the first half. From our point of view we don't underestimate anybody, but you know very well we don't underestimate ourselves either.

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