They won’t underestimate us - GW

Graham Westley says the Blades will take heed of Boro after previous wins against promotion-chasing teams

GRAHAM WESTLEY isn’t expecting Saturday’s opponents Sheffield United to take Stevenage for granted given the fate of other promotion-chasing teams at the Lamex Stadium this season.

Boro beat Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 back in September before seeing off leaders Charlton Athletic 1-0 last month. And the Stevenage boss believes those two wins in particular will not have escaped the attention of Danny Wilson and his team as the Blades prepare for Saturday’s clash.

“It’s a fantastic game for the club and another opportunity for the players to show what they’re all about,” said Westley.

“We’ve had a couple of the big boys down already this season – clubs with huge budgets – and these are yet another club with a massive budget. And with that budget comes the type of players you can afford when you spend that kind of money.

“But they won’t be coming down here underestimating us and they will know what we’re likely to do and they will prepare for that, and we expect them to be ready.

“But we’re a difficult side to play against, make no bones about it, and the players are growing all the time and the results they’ve got against the bigger clubs have only served to fuel their ambitions.

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“We can’t compete [with Sheffield United and other big teams in League 1] on budget – there’s no question about that. The fortunate thing is that, in football, you’re only allowed to put 11 players out there and bring three substitutes on, and we’ve got the same right to win the match as they have.”

Westley also says he is pleased to have drawn Hartlepool United in next Saturday’s FA Cup First Round tie – despite the 450-mile round trip.

“It’s nice because you often get opposition who aren’t known to you but we’ve got an opponent we’ve already played this season which is a real positive,” said Westley.

“The FA Cup has linked me to the North East on several occasions. I remember the year I was at Farnborough – when we played Arsenal – we had to go up to Darlington and win up there and obviously last year we went into Round Four after beating Newcastle United.

“The FA Cup – in any football person’s mind or heart – will never lose its magic because it’s a sensational tournament.”