Stevenage boss hopeful on wide men

Westley expects both Wilson and Laird to be back to full fitness for the visit of Sheffield Wednesday

Stevenage manager Graham Westley expects his side will utilise their wide men better against Sheffield Wednesday tonight (Tuesday) after saying he expects Lawrie Wilson and Scott Laird to be back to full fitness.

Wilson and Laird, two of Boro’s standout performers so far this campaign, were far from their best in Saturday’s draw at Oldham as they recovered from illness and injury respectively, and Westley expects them both to be back to their best against Gary Megson’s men.

Speaking after Saturday’s win, Westley said: “We’ve had one or two lads, today, who have come back after a week out.

“Lawrie was on his sick bed all week and Lairdy was in treatment all week. Arguably if we’d had a bit more in the wide areas today we would have gone on and put on an much more impressive showing so from our point of view those two will be back to full fitness on Tuesday night.”

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Westley says that he expects Sheffield Wednesday will be strong at set plays due to the height in their team, but added that although the Owls can play direct football at times he believes they can play the ball around on the floor as well

“They’ve got some very good height in their side,” Westley said.

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“It could be a factor from set plays, but they play decent enough football. They’re a hard working side, they’ve got some qualities like most sides in this league so I’m sure they can take the game direct when they need to but they can pass the football just like we can.”

For Boro Graham Westley is likely to start with the same XI which drew at Oldham on Saturday, although Phil Edwards could come in for Joel Byrom to add further steel to the midfield.

Wednesday Nicky Weaver has been ruled out for three months with a knee injury, so Richard O’Donnell will continue to deputise. In midfield, Liam Palmer is expected to come in after a good performance in the 3-1 win over MK Dons on Saturday. Jermaine Johnson, who Palmer replaced on Saturday, is expected to start the game on the bench.

Possible starting XIs

Stevenage (4-4-2): Day, Henry, Charles, Roberts, Bostwick, Wilson, Laird, Mousinho, Byrom, Reid, Beardsley.

Sheff Wed: O’Donnell, Jones (c), Batth, Buxton, Bennett, Palmer, Marshall, Prutton, Semedo, Madine, Morrison.

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