Westley looking to replicate recent run of results
- Credit: Kevin Coleman
If Stevenage can replicate the results from the last eight games then league survival should be assured, according to manager Graham Westley.
Boro earned 12 points from the last eight games, which included a six game unbeaten streak before back-to-back losses to MK Dons and Coventry. The run saw them leap from relegation bound to in the mix for survival.
Despite consecutive losses, Westley remains confident in his side’s form.
“Before we went six unbeaten we lost three on the bounce,” he explained.
“At Peterborough we scored an equaliser that was ruled out for offside, at Rotherham we got the late equaliser and then threw it away, lets be honest, and at [Leyton] Orient we didn’t start well but in fairness if we got the penalty on freeman and they don’t get the offside goal [then it could have been different].
“In three games against top sides we only just got edged out; I said then that I was confident in our form. I thought we were improving and putting out a decent side and matching the top sides.
“I wasn’t kidding myself because six games later we were unbeaten.”
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He added: “If you look at it over last eight games, we’ve had two defeats but on Saturday we weren’t outclassed by Dons. We had a dreadful last 10 minutes and we were kicking ourselves last night because we had 60 per cent possession, more attempts and any neutral observer could see there was only one team in the game. But football is only about one statistic: how many times you put the ball in the net.
“Their goal led a charmed life so I’m not concerned about our form as our performance levels have been okay.”
The task of picking up 12 points or more from the remaining 21 available starts this Saturday when Port Vale visit the Lamex Stadium, 3pm kick-off. The teams drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture.
Boro currently sit at the foot of the League One table but Westley insisted there is no need to panic.
“In the last eight games we have pushed ourselves from having a nine point deficit to a two-point deficit,” he told the Comet.
“Over the next games if we do a similar or slightly better amount of work then we’ll be safe. There’s no great panic because there’s no point putting ourselves under ludicrous pressure.
“We have got to do, over the next eight games, roughly speaking, what we’ve done in the last eight; that should see us through. We won’t settle for that, we want to do better than that, but it’s well within our capability.”
So does Westley believe Boro will escape the drop?
“Anybody who says we’re going to do something is crazy, nobody can foresee the future. The form we’ve shown; if we can sustain that then we’ll be safe.
“The job everyone here is focussed on is getting in the right frame of mind to get the job done and we’re going into the game believing we can win it.
“[Port Vale] will want to bounce back from a heavy defeat so they’ll be focussed. It’s a tough job but we won’t go into any game between now and the end of the season believing we can’t win.”