Stevenage boss Graham Westley “not happy” with unwillingness to push back next week’s League Two trip to Northampton Town despite FA Cup Maidstone replay

Graham Westley

Graham Westley - Credit: Archant

Stevenage boss Graham Westley says the decision to force his side to play two games in just three days due to Football League and FA Cup commitments have “fuelled their fires”.

Boro face three games in a week, starting with Cheltenham Town this Saturday before trips to Maidstone United for their Cup replay next Thursday and Northampton Town in League Two less than 48 hours later.

Westley told the Stevenage Comet: “It is not right that we only get 36 hours recovery time to prepare for Northampton in my opinion.

“Northampton can say what they want about already selling tickets and hospitality and so on. We have got players, who could potentially play 120 minutes on Thursday night and then be needed for this game very quickly after.

“Having been told there is no way around it, I will probably write back to them and say ‘can we play it Friday?’ because all it has done is fuel our fires.

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“We have a real sense now of let’s play it Friday and it has given us more of an urge to go and put in the complete performance so we get through to the next round.

“I dont see why we should be made to use our whole squad when there are league points at stake. Luckily we have 22 players back on the training ground and they’re hungry to go but I’m not happy.”

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Before their hectic three-day period at the end of next week, Stevenage are aiming for three points against fellow mid-table outfit Cheltenham and Westley is wary of the Gloucestershire side.

He continued: “They in middle of the pack like us so they will have as much fight and belief as us that a win on Saturday will lift their season. “The fact they beat Swindon 5-0 in the FA Cup shows the qualities that reside in this league.

“Any side from on this league on their day can put in a big performance so we know will have to be at our best to stop them building on that morale-boosting win.” Byron Harrison, who the current Boro boss gave his first tastes of League football back in 2011, scored a hat-trick in that emphatic win so all eyes will be on him at the Lamex Stadium come the weekend.

Westley said: “I rememmber going to watch him on the coldest winter morning following someone’s advice and making a snap decision on him there and then.

“I think he was sold at or around the time I went off to Preston and not long after that he went off to AFC Wimbledon but he did well for us here and wherever he is around, there is a chance of a goal.”

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