Westley aims for a top half finish

Graham Westley. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Graham Westley. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Survival is not enough for Stevenage boss following win over Tranmere, while Preston are up next

Stevenage boss Graham Westley says the aim of the club is to finish in the top half of League 1 this season.

Boro beat Tranmere Rovers today 3-1 and now have 10 points from their last four matches in a run of games that has seen the club move off the bottom of the league and up to 20th position.

They are currently six points behind Bradford City who are in 13th place with 41 points.

Westley’s men face his old club Preston North End on Tuesday with the Lilywhites having a good win of their own today, 3-1 at Oldham Athletic.

Preston are currently third in the League 1 table, and Westley hopes his side’s current good run of form will see Boro give Tuesday’s visitors a run for their money.

“We knew that to be a League 1 club next year we had to win a certain number of games,” Westley said.

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“To get into the top half, which is our objective, we’ve got to win a lot of games.

“We’re three wins in four now, that’s a good bounce back from the situation we were in but we’re not complacent.

“We know the top sides have nicked results against us. So we’re hoping that we’ve made enough improvement in the last two or three games to match another top side on Tuesday and this time do better than we’ve done previously.”

Today’s win was a test of character, Westley said, following Tuesday’s draw at Crawley.

In that match Boro took a 1-0 lead into half-time having wasted a number of good chances in the first period, and their hosts bombarded them in the second half and grabbed an equaliser in injury time.

Speaking about not only holding on to a half-time lead but adding to it in the second half here, before conceding an own goal late on, Westley said: “The boys were strong this afternoon. It was a determined display. We did what we had to do and it was quite convincing on the whole.

“It was reminiscent in some respects to Tuesday and it was good in that regard as it was a real test of character. We missed chances after we scored, could easily have gone in two or three up but it was one.

“We said at half-time ‘let’s see if we’ve learned the lesson, let’s see if we’ve understood how to take these situations onwards and close these games out’ and we did that. We closed the game out by scoring the second and the third and allowed ourselves to make that stupid mistake late on.”