Stevenage shortlist three for manager’s job

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace - Credit: Archant

STEVENAGE chairman Phil Wallace has confirmed there is a shortlist of three people for the vacant manager’s job at the Lamex Stadium.

Could Graham Westley be making a sensational return to Stevenage?

Could Graham Westley be making a sensational return to Stevenage? - Credit: Archant

Speculation is rife that Graham Westley is set for a sensational return to the club who he guided into the Football League and onwards in League 1, yet Wallace has said that nothing has been decided yet on a full-time successor to Gary Smith.

Inspirational captain Mark Roberts is currently in caretaker charge until the new man is in place.

Speaking to the club’s website, Wallace said: “It’s been ongoing all week. Mark Roberts has stepped up to the plate, as he did last year, and the club couldn’t be in more dedicated and professional hands.

“We’ve had a significant number of applicants for the position but we are a small club and we need a specific skill set to make an impact with the budget available to us.”

Smith got the bullet from the hotseat after a poor run that had seen them achive only two victories in 11 league games.

Boro, while not yet mathematically safe from relegation from League 1, find themselves 11 points clear of the drop zone.

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Wallace continued: “There’s no guarantee a change of management will provide the change in form we seek, but we’ve slid from an automatic promotion spot to a relegation fight and the board can’t just sit, watch and hope the downward spiral and declining gates of the past four months will come to an end.”

Westley left Stevenage on January 13, 2012 to take over at Preston North End. However he endured a difficult spell at Deepdale, which included a total overhaul of playing staff, and results failed to improve on the pitch.

“Yes, of course Graham is in the frame, along with several others,” added Wallace when questioned about the chances of Westley returning to the Lamex.

“His past achievements for the Club would put him in a good position and I’m long over the events of a year ago.

“I always understood the opportunity he had and his reasons for wanting to leave, I just didn’t agree with the timing but that’s history.

“We have a short list now of three and I’d hope that we can make an appointment over the weekend. If we don’t then we’ll get some help in for Mark and Darren [Sarll. head of youth] on the training ground and carry on as we are for a while.”

Boro are scheduled to travel to take on Crawley tomorrow (Good Friday), with a 3pm kick-off.