Westley expecting ‘tough’ Macclesfield trip this weekend

Boro boss says his side’s best is still to come

BORO boss Graham Westley is expecting a tough game against an ‘excellent’ Macclesfield Town side when his troops visit Moss Rose this weekend.

When the two sides met on the opening day of the season it took a last-gasp Charlie Griffin equaliser for Boro to avoid defeat, and Westley said his troops are under no illusions that they face a difficult game against the side currently 16th in League Two.

“I think they are an excellent side. They came to us on the opening day of the season, they introduced us to League Two and gave us a massive wake up call...because we realised just how good the mid and lower half of the table sides are,” Westley said.

“They’ve got some wonderful attacking assets. They are a well organised side, the manager has got them playing with a passion and a desire and it’s going to be a really tough trip, we’re under no illusions.”


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Boro go into the game, which begins at 1pm to avoid clashing with the Wales v England European Championship qualifier, on the back of a four game winning streak which has seen them move up to fifth in the table.

Victories over Lincoln City last Saturday and Burton Albion on Tuesday evening have seen Boro move to within four points of second place, but Westley says his side’s best is still to come.

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“We like to think of ourselves as an improving side,” Westley said after the Burton win.

“We like to think that we’ve learnt the level, become better at the level. We know we’ve got room for improvement. We know tonight we weren’t fantastic, we believe we can play much better, we also believe in the last eight games of the season you’ll get to see our best.

“We really do think that our best is still to come.”

Boro were sent a letter by the Football League last week reportedly asking them not to take time-outs during the first half of matches after other League 2 sides took umbrage as to what they saw as Stevenage taking a break midway through the first half to allow players to discuss tactics with Westley on the sidelines.

No referees have penalised Boro during any games on the issue, and speaking after the win over Lincoln Westley would not be drawn into discussing what the League has asked the club to do, but after left-back Scott Laird was roundly booed by Burton fans on Tuesday after going down with a legitimate injury - the defender got kicked in the Achilles and had to be taken off - Westley said he hopes ‘this nonsense’ will not continue throughout the season.

“I think I made the point just now that this nonsense that’s been going around – Lairdy goes down and he takes a knock, a kick through his Achilles – there’s all sorts of jibes going around the ground, (and it is) unnecessary and not something we need to focus on and something we need to move beyond very quickly.”

Laird is expected to be back for Saturday’s game while Darren Murphy is eager to get his second start since his recovery from a broken leg with Westley saying the midfielder ‘is hungry for games right now’.

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