Westley takes confidence from history

Graham Westley

Graham Westley - Credit: Archant

Boro manager is somewhat of a semi-final specialist

Graham Westley has a knack for winning semi-finals, an attribute he takes a lot of confidence from ahead of tonight’s play-off clash with Southend United.

Since his first stint as manager at Stevenage, Westley has won five of six ties in the final four – the one loss coming in 2009 in the Conference Premier play-off semi-finals against Cambridge.

Three of his wins came in the FA Trophy, one in the Conference Premier and one in League Two.

“We take confidence from the fact that five of the six away legs I’ve managed at this football club we’ve won,” said Westley. “We’ve had ability to do the job when the line is there.”


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The manager highlighted the 5-1 away win over Kidderminster in the 2010 FA Trophy and the 1-0 victory at Accrington Stanley in the 2011 League Two play-offs as times when Stevenage showed their ‘resilience’ and ‘doggedness’ to win ties.

“The last time we drew 1-1 in first leg, against Hereford [in the 2005 Conference Premier play-off semi-final], I was thanking my lucky stars that we were still in the tie. We went there and were exceptional to win 1-0,” he said.

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“I look at those and know it’s another game of football on a different pitch but the finish line is now there.

“We’ve had the first half to have a look at things to put ourselves in better shape. We’re a team that gets into the game in the first half and then goes on to win it in the second. It’s not intentional; it’s just the way it has gone this season.

“We’ve had a look at the first half, now it’s up to us to produce so much more in the second and to learn lessons that are there to be learned and improve the performance - I’m absolutely certain that we will.”

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