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Club News


27 July 2013

Following this afternoon's comprehensive win at Hitchin Town, we caught up with Stevenage boss Graham Westley to get his reaction to this game and last night's 2-2 draw against a Manchester United XI.

On today's game he commented, "These games are, with respect to Hitchin, banana skins for you. Generally you have lads who want to show they should be at Stevenage themselves, their local professional club, and there’s always going to be a ferocity and intensity to their play. 

"However the conditions today meant that our footballing quality could come through and I think the players worked very hard to own the ball, use the ball and make it very difficult for Hitchin. I think the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game, it was a convincing win and I thought the players acquitted themselves very well."

Today's team at Top Field included a number of squad players and trialists but the gaffer was pleased with how they performed.

"I said to them beforehand that we weren’t perhaps going to be as organised as we’d expect a Stevenage side to be and I gave them some basics themes in attack and defence to be thinking about. The key priority in possession of the ball is to keep the ball moving, to keep purpose to our play and we did that. We went forward relentlessly which was good."

He added, "Out of possession we worked very hard. I set them a target of making sure they covered more ground than their opponent and I think if you look at the Stevenage players we probably covered more ground than then opposition. It was a pleasing overall display and everybody played their part in it."

Turning his attention to last night's 2-2 draw against a Manchester United XI, Graham confirmed he was disappointed with the team's performance on the night.

"In the first half we got on top of the game for long periods and we allowed our superior experience to fall into the trap of taking the extra touch and trying to show just how good we were, as they dropped and gave us time and space. We weren’t clinical enough at all and we paid the price, going 2-0 down at half time.

"That was where the pleasing moment came in that we had a test of character on our hands. We were up against a club that’s used to winning and knows how to win and we went up against that and got ourselves back in the game. We deservedy won the second half and could easily have gone on to win the game.

"So it was pleasing to show character, nice to see the response and two really good quality goals - that off the back of the disappointment of the first half performance where we let ourselves down."

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