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WESTLEY ON ARLESEY: "IT WAS A GAME OF TWO HALVES"

10 July 2014

Reflecting on his side's 3-0 win at Arlesey in their opening pre-season friendly last night, Stevenage manager Graham Westley said it was a real game of two halves.

"In the first half we saw a commanding performance and we scored the three goals. Those first halves can often be difficult against any opposition where the legs and the fitness don’t really come through. I thought it was a convincing and commanding performance in the first half.

"Second half we had a look at a few lads and it was a much more even affair. I said to them in there I was disappointed, I don’t want to play halves of football and not win them. We’ve got to get back in this football club to learning the winning way. If you win every half of football you play you win football matches."

Bira Dembele was named skipper for the night and Westley said he was one of a number of leaders on the pitch at the Armadillo Stadium.

"Voices, leaders, 11 captains. I think you did see that," he said. "The least vocal, the man who hasn’t any English in this locker, Bira, was skipper and that was a challenge for him to have to face. I thought he came through that with aplomb. He dealt with that in a positive way. Even he got his voice on the team, put that command on his team-mates and I thought it was a confident and very together performance."

Both Tom Pett and Adam Marriott have stepped up from further down the football pyramid than some of their other fellow arrivals at Stevenage and the manager was pleased with their goalscoring debuts, saying, "Tom showed with his workrate, his quality on the ball, his creativity and his goal-scoring just what he’s going to be capable of. 

"Adam showed why he got 45 goals last season, he’s a predator when he gets in there, he’s got good quality. It was a strong first half display and I thought both did really well."

Finally, a much different opposition awaits on Saturday when West Ham visit The Lamex Stadium and GW said his side were ready for the challenge of facing their Premier League visitors.

"I’m sure a Premier League outfit will be packed with quality, packed with athleticism and it’ll be a tough encounter. We’ll approach it in the right way, we’ve got to make sure we’re not overawed, that we’re confident in our own abilities and we put on as good as a display as we can.

"We’ve got some lads who’ve played at a higher level, they know what it’s all about so they’ll be aware of the challenge they face and aware of how to deal with it."


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