REACTION: Westley deflects attention from Kennedy onto the whole team

Graham Westley

Graham Westley - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley shifted the focus from Ben Kennedy’s impressive performance to that of the whole Stevenage team after their 4-2 win over Southend United.

Boro’s boss spent his post-match interview moving the subject away from the 18-year-old, who won a penalty, scored a goal and set-up another, in a 25 minute cameo.

As expected, the questions centred on Kennedy’s inspirational performance as Boro came from 2-1 down to win 4-2. But Westley played down his impact, instead focusing on entire side.

“I think attitude of the team in the last 25 minutes or so was exactly what you want; players played on front foot, they wanted to attack, they were prepared to do more, not less, and, as an 11, they went forward with gusto and scored three good goals to win the game,” he said.

Roarie Deacon put Boro ahead before Joe Pigott and Barry Corr fired the Shrimpers into the lead. The momentum swung with Kennedy’s introduction. He won a penalty, which Simon Walton scored, netted the winning goal and then played in Dean Parrett for the fourth.

“I didn’t feel they deserved to be behind at half-time and it wasn’t an unfair reflection of the first hour for them to be 2-1 ahead,” said Westley. “They’re a decent side – their form, results and league position tells you that.

“We know they concede late goals and fancied that we could affect the game late on. The thrust of [Tom Pett], Calvin [Zola]’s height and hold up play and Kennedy’s ability to run on added to what team was already doing and made an interesting end to the game.”

Most Read

Naturally, in a week where Kennedy has scored three goals and signed a professional contract, the questions came back to him.

“Football is a team game,” explained Westley. “It’s great that Ben Kennedy has come in and done his job, but it’s rude to ignore the efforts of the team.

“Let’s not take plaudits away from him but we’ve got to keep his feet on the floor. It’s what he does next that makes the difference, his attitude to training on Monday and for the next couple of moments. That’s what makes a player, not a flash in the pan moment.

“We’ve Got to make sure we focus on the team because it’s the team that wins the points.”