Westley’s back!

Former Stevenage Boro boss Graham Westley hopes to follow in Brian Talbot s footsteps after finally taking charge at Conference rivals Rushden and Diamonds. Westley set his sights on bringing back the glory days at Nene Park as the Conference club current

Former Stevenage Boro boss Graham Westley hopes to follow in Brian Talbot's footsteps after finally taking charge at Conference rivals Rushden and Diamonds.

Westley set his sights on bringing back the glory days at Nene Park as the Conference club currently face a fourth consecutive relegation battle since Talbot ended his seven-year reign.

Westley said: "I can't make any sort of promises but people who know anything about my teams will realise I care passionately about the players being fit, strong and organised.

"On top of that I like to see flair and excitement.

"Brian had a side who worked very hard and was well organised - that's the reason why they were successful.

"I will try to bring back those standards which made Diamonds champions at this level previously because there are a lot of good things to be done."

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Westley - who had been expected to take over last month - finally agreed a deal nine weeks after Paul Hart's sacking.

But he dismissed speculation that he would be investing in Diamonds alongside new chairman Keith Cousins and insisted: "There's absolutely no truth in that whatsoever."

Westley will have another Boro old boy in John Dreyer as his assistant.

The pair crossed paths at Broadhall Way with Dreyer's first game as caretaker boss ironically a 5-0 thumping of Westley's side then Farnborough.

Another former Boro man Dino Maamria is rumoured to be joining as first team coach.

Chairman Cousins insisted that Westley was always his first choice as manager - even though they failed to agree terms just three weeks ago. The deal initially broke down last month soon after Cousins completed his takeover with Rushden and Diamonds supporters' trust.

Cousins admitted: "We couldn't agree personal terms but then over a period of time we did!

"Graham brings the same attitude and desire which we need as a club and I have individually. He's got that winning mentality.

"I'm absolutely delighted to have reached this agreement with Graham.

"He was always my first choice from the day I walked in because he has got a remarkable record at this level. He knows the Conference very well.

"His attitude towards the game and his determination matches my own and that of this club. I think we are going to make one hell of a team together.

"This is a step in the direction where we want to be going.

"He's very ambitious and brings determination, dedication and commitment to this club which I think will lead to success."

Cousins added: "Graham is under no illusion of how difficult a task he faces but he is looking forward to the challenge between now and May.

"He is confident he can ensure the club climbs the Nationwide Conference table and be challenging for a play-off position come the end of the season.

"We currently find ourselves at the foot of the Conference which was not anticipated at the start of this campaign."

Westley left Boro at the end of last season having missed out on a promotion play-off place.

He continued: "It's been a nice holiday and I enjoyed that as I needed a break.

"It always happens that people link you with other clubs but you've got to be patient for the right opportunity.

"I'm delighted to be able to bring myself to Rushden and Diamonds.

"Any manager worth his salt wants to be successful and this club has the platform to achieve things.

"The facilities speak for themselves and we've also got a decent squad.

"My sides are always fit, strong and organised. We contemplate winning first and then try to entertain. That's been my formula and track record so I see no reason to change it."

Westley will make his return to Broadhall Way when the two sides meet on Saturday, March 10.