Stevenage boss praises players after winning ‘big game’

Graham Westley

Graham Westley - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley praised his Stevenage side despite losing the experienced Simon Walton to a suspected hamstring injury early in their win over Shrewsbury Town.

Simon Walton is visibly upset at having to leave the field

Simon Walton is visibly upset at having to leave the field - Credit: Archant

It was a victory that sent Boro into the top half of the League Two table, and three points that came courtesy of an ‘ugly win’ says the Stevenage boss.

“I probably expected when we began the season that we would have a few ugly wins along the way to becoming a decent side,” Westley said.

“There have been moments when we have had ugly defeats and ugly draws and this was an ugly win, which is a sign that the lads are [getting] better.

“[Shrewsbury] came here in good form and we didn’t expect an easy contest. After the blow of losing Simon, one of the things we didn’t want, with so many youngsters on the pitch, was to lose one of our bits of experience.


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“Some of the decisions we made were a little bit naïve, a little bit inexperienced. But the appetite was there. When you’ve got the appetite and you’ve got learning players it is a joy to be the manager.

“It was a big game for the football club. We haven’t started as we would have wanted to start.

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“We have started probably the way we would have started, in my heart of hearts. I didn’t think we would start like a steam train. When you take big hits to big players and you lose the Worleys, the Beardsleys and the Zolas and the Waltons, you haven’t got players for the youngsters to learn off.

“When the young players are watching them, and watching them make the right decisions, they can learn. You think it is all down to the coach and the manager but a lot of the learning in a football club goes on when the experienced lads get hold of the youngsters and can show them the right way.

“They can sit on the bench and see an experienced player, and we have not had that benefit.

“But we have still won three games in our first seven, and that’s a positive. If we can build on that and start taking our confidence into football matches, which will happen, and start improving our decision-making, and get one of those lads back, we will see this team emerge.”

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