Westley looking forward to Norwich and Millwall tests
Boro boss eager to get back to business
STEVENAGE boss Graham Westley says he is looking forward to the upcoming pre-season games with npower Championship sides Norwich City and Millwall.
Boro kicked off their pre-season schedule last night against Histon (Wednesday) and face Chelmsford City tomorrow night (Friday) before welcoming the Canaries to the Lamex Stadium on Tuesday night and Millwall on Saturday afternoon.
And, after the players returned from their summer break just a couple of weeks ago, Westley says he is pleased with how his squad are shaping up.
“Of course any football person will tell that the summer months are good because you can enjoy a rest but on the other hand it’s good to get back to playing football,” Westley told The Comet.
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“It’s always the case that you get some players who have a bit more work to do than others but that’s understandable as some of the lads had injuries at the back end of last season and they needed taking care of.
“Every player takes their own time and has their own preparation during the close season, but the lads have come back in really good shape and it’s clear they have worked hard.”
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When asked whether it can be detrimental to play teams of a higher standard during pre-season because of the possibility of not seeing enough of the ball, Westley says this will not be the case with his team.
He added: “Any match against teams from a higher division will give you a good chance to test yourself. We played Millall last year and that was a good game for us and we did well and I’m sure this time will be no different.
“There are times in games during the regular season when you have to chase the ball down so in that respect it’s not a problem but there’s no reason why we should find ourselves in that position against Norwich and Millwall and I’m sure they will be enjoyable matches.”
Despite acknowledging the importance of pre-season, Westley says he is only concerned with taking all three points from the opening match against Macclesfield Town on August 7 rather than winning pre-season friendlies.
He said: “The aim of pre-season is to ensure the squad gets itself match fit and I want a team that’s going to be capable of wining the opening game of the season.
“Pre-season training sessions are no different to those during the actual season. You need to do the leg work and you need to do work with the ball and I’m sure we will be ready for the first game in just over three week’s time.”