Westley has massive respect for ‘back-up keeper’ Goodliffe

Jason Goodliffe. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Jason Goodliffe. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Stevenage boss says he would have had no problem throwing on his 40-year-old coach in goal against Wolves

Luke Freeman in action against Wolves. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Luke Freeman in action against Wolves. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Graham Westley says he has ‘massive respect’ for Jason Goodliffe after his coach sat on the bench this evening as Stevenage’s back-up goalkeeper.

Chris Day made a number of fine saves in tonight’s 0-0 draw with Wolves with the goalkeeper playing his second successive match since he was dropped for the defeat at Coventry last Wednesday.

Steve Arnold played in that match, but following his injury in the pre-match build-up on Saturday against Port Vale, former defender Goodliffe donned the gloves and sat on the bench for tonight’s game.

Westley, though, says he would have no problem in playing the 40-year-old had he been called upon.

“Massive respect to Jason for putting himself in that situation,” said Westley.

“We took an injury to Steve Arnold which keeps him out, the youth team goalkeeper is injured, we haven’t got a goalkeeping coach, so we’re in the unenviable position of having an assistant manager who stands between the sticks on the training ground for us but who does so very well I have to say.

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“It wouldn’t scare me at all if Jason put the gloves on and went out there. He might be 40 now but he was an outstanding defender for the football club, he’s a brave lad, he puts his body on the line.

“Bira Dembele asked him the other day, he said ‘when did you retire from being the goalkeeper at Stevenage’ because that’s the mark of the man.

“He’s done so well when he’s been between the sticks. It’s not something that’s ideal but it’s out of necessity but it would not worry me to see Jason involved.”

Westley says his Stevenage side gave a ‘strong’ account of themselves against the league leaders, and added that his team had plenty of chances of their own to take all three points from the match.

Westley said: “You want to win your home games, you don’t want to spill points at home.

“They’re the top side, they’re champions-elect, they’re in good form. They’ve not been conceding a lot of goals and they’ve been scoring plenty.

“It was always a game that people were going to probably feel was there for them to win rather than us.

“I thought the lads showed what I’ve been saying. That in 2014 since I’ve brought one or two in we haven’t been a bottom side; we’re bottom because of the start that we had to the season.

“We’ve been a mid-table side with our results and more recently we’re eight unbeaten in 10.

“The side’s growing, it’s developing, it’s improving all the time and I thought tonight was a strong performance.

“The lads will know there were areas of our game where we think we could have been better. There were areas of our performance where we probably went off game plan slightly.

“On the whole it was a pleasing display in many regards, particularly in terms of the work rate, the appetite, the willingness to believe in what they were doing.

“There are a lot of sides that [if they were] propping up the table would not play with that level of confidence, structure, belief and composure. I think the team showed that they are dealing with the pressure really well.”

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