Westley backs Boro squad’s character

BORO boss Graham Westley says his players will have their character tested during the last four games of the season – but has backed his side to come good.

After two disappointing draws in the last fortnight, Stevenage face an Easter Bank Holiday double-header this weekend when they travel to Southend United on Good Friday before playing host to fellow promotion hopefuls Port Vale on Easter Monday and Westley has demanded an improvement from his players in order to book at least a play-off spot come the end of the season.

“The good thing (after the two draws) is we’ve got a chance to put a cure in place, make ourselves better, and we’re looking forward to the final four games,” Westley said.

“Some sides are going to step on and achieve, some sides aren’t, and it’s up to us to make sure we are one of the ones that does.

“It’s that time of the year where somebody’s going to do a fantastic job and get six points.

“We’ve got two very tough games (this weekend). Southend are a cracking side, I saw them (last Friday) and they’ve got a lot of brightness, a lot of football in them.

“It’s at their patch, there’s going to be a big Bank Holiday crowd, it’s going to be a tremendous atmosphere. It’s going to be a tough place to go and win, but we’ve got to go and do that if we want to succeed. In having to go there, and having to win, we have to get the best out of ourselves.

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“We did that last year. After a disappointing result against Luton (Stevenage lost 1-0 in April), we went down to AFC Wimbledon where people probably fancied us to fall on our faces, and we showed what we were all about (winning 3-0).

“It’s that time again, when our character is really under scrutiny, it’s there to be tested, and we’ve got to show what we’re all about.”

Boro have already sold more than 500 tickets for the game at Southend, and could welcome back Michael Bostwick after the midfielder missed Saturday’s game due to a back injury.

Whoever he picks to start the game, however, Westley believes they will have to be at their best to beat a side which he believes has some outstanding players.

“They’re a good side, they’ve got some exceptionally good players,” Westley said.

“Their performance (4-0 win against Bradford last Friday), believe me, in no way did they look like a mid-table side.

“They look like a top side, they’ve got some tremendous players and it’s going to take a great performance if we’re going to take three points back from there.

“There were a lot of scouts in the stands there looking at them. When you’ve got the number of scouts looking at your players as they did, there must have some decent lads there, that’s for sure.

“We’re due a great performance, we’ve had two shockers the last couple of weeks and if we can’t learn from that, we’ll be disappointed.”

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