Stevenage ‘send out a message’ that they’re down but by no means out, says Westley

Graham Westley. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Graham Westley. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Stevenage put three past Gillingham in tonight’s League 1 match as they move to within two points of the teams outside the relegation zone

Darius Charles gets the better of Stephen Gregory and Bradley Dack. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Darius Charles gets the better of Stephen Gregory and Bradley Dack. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley says tonight’s performance against Gillingham was about ‘sending a message out’ that his team is ready for the battle to stay in League 1.

Boro’s 3-1 victory at home to former manager Peter Taylor’s side moved them to within two points of Bristol City, who are one place outside the relegation zone following their defeat at home to Coventry City tonight.

Westley played a 3-2-3-2 formation with plenty of bodies in the centre of midfield, and with John Mousinho playing out of position in defence due to an injury to Jon Ashton and Darius Charles bossing the Gillingham back line and scoring two goals, Westley says it was good to have plenty of experience on the pitch.

Speaking after the match, Westley said: “We’re down the bottom and tonight it was about sending a message out that we might be down but we’re not out.

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“It’s very much game on from our point of view. We’re looking forward to the games that are ahead of us and it is important to start with three points tonight and the boys did.

“In a club like ours you can’t afford to lose your big players. We lost Ash [Jon Ashton, groin injury] tonight, but we were fortunate enough to be able to bring Mousinho in and that is a bonus that we haven’t had throughout the season.

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“When you’ve got big players out on the pitch, you’ve got a chance to earn points.

“Both [Ashton and Filipe Morais] picked up knocks within the last 10 days, so we’ve got some big players to come back. We’ve got big players in the side, we’ve got a couple big players on the sidelines.

“The youngsters came on and did well off the bench tonight which is important – that’s the type of role you want to see them playing. You want the Doughtys and the Andrades and the Deacons to come on and make contributions in winning performances.

“Experience lads, the lads that have got the calibre and have got the League 1 background are the ones that you can rely on to win you points week in, week out.

“We certainly developed our game tonight… we passed the ball well, the play was purposeful which I want.

“Sometimes you can get confusion in the camp where people think because you want to play purposefully you want to play direct.

“I don’t want t play direct at all. I want to pass the ball, I want to own the ball, I want to develop possession and I thought we did that very well tonight.”

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