Stevenage ‘stepped up a level’ at Cobblers, says Westley

Simon Walton, right, celebrates from the front. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Simon Walton, right, celebrates from the front. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley saw his Stevenage team ‘step up a level’ in the 2-1 win over Northampton Town last Saturday.

Zander Diamond put the Cobblers ahead but second-half goals from Chris Whelpdale and Simon Walton ensured the points went to Stevenage. They followed up with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth, courtesy of Tom Pett’s third-minute goal, to go six points clear of Luton Town in eighth.

“This is the time of year players can improve beyond belief,” explained Westley. “The focus of the finish line does stop some people and speeds others up. I think it can speed up learning in a team and I sensed last week against Northampton that we moved to the next level; there was more decision, courage, determination in what we were doing.

“That’s the try of mentality we need to be successful. Play-off games are must-win situations – you have to win the game and thrive on the pressure. I hope by the time we get there, we’ll be ready for the task at hand.”

Personally, Westley is relishing the conclusion of the campaign,

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“This is what it’s all about – this is when the prizes are won,” he said. “There’s nothing like the opportunity to achieve what you start in July for.

“It’s down to those who can and those you can’t. This is what it’s all about.”

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