Players happy to sit in ‘comfort zone’, bemoans Westley

Graham Westley shouts instructions to his players. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Graham Westley shouts instructions to his players. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Stevenage manager hits out at side’s reluctance to go for more goals after taking the lead, as they’re pegged back and beaten by Colchester

Luke Freeman scored Stevenage's second goal. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Luke Freeman scored Stevenage's second goal. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley says Stevenage are not carrying out some of his instructions on the pitch.

Boro lost 3-2 at Colchester United today with the defeat leaving the club perilously close to relegation from League 1.

Despite going ahead, Stevenage failed to build on their 11th minute lead and allowed their opponents, certainly in the second half, too much time with the ball.

Speaking afterwards, Westley suggested that his instructions to go for a second after going ahead weren’t being adhered to before adding that Boro were happy just to stay in the ‘comfort zone’ after taking the lead.

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“I think there’s some good individuals there, but I don’t think some of the individuals have learned to be team players and spread the winning habit,” Westley said.

“You need players that are going to [be demanding] of each other, to set high standards, to ask a player to do that extra five yards here or five yards there.

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“Too many of our players let each other stay at a lower level rather than a high level and we got ourselves ahead today and I thought we took the game to them.

“Once we did we were happy to stay in the comfort zone of trying to defend our lead.

“As much as I tried to urge the team to do a little bit more and take the game to them and own the ball and go and score the second it didn’t seem until we were 3-1 down that we wanted to take the initiative and go and get the second goal.

“And that’s not the way to play football.”

Westley said that his players were not taking responsibility with the ball at their feet, adding that too often promising attacking moves ended back at the feet of his goalkeeper.

“I talk about sense of responsibility; I talk about wanting to take the ball forward. So often I see players passing the ball backwards, almost ducking the issue.

“It’s tough to get on the ball, see a forward pass, pick the forward pass out. It’s tough.

“At times you’ve got to be strong and brave. It’s easy just to turn and go backwards. How often have we seen a passage of play start in their attacking third and ending with our goalkeeper hoofing it in the stands?

“So often we’ve seen that. It takes four or five players to turn down responsibility for that to happen.”

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