POSH: Graham going for goals galore

Graham Westley is unveiled as the new manager at Peterborough United. Picture: Joe Dent
Graham Westley is unveiled as the new manager at Peterborough United. Picture: Joe Dent

New Posh manager Graham Westley is ready to dispel a few myths.

Westley is tired of hearing that he’s a one-trick pony as far as tactics are concerned. He insists Posh fans won’t be watching a team trying to succeed with just effort and long balls.

Westley is adamant that he is on the same wavelength in football terms as his assistant Grant McCann and his chairman Darragh MacAnthony which means delivering a brand of football that will enthuse and excite his new fan base.

He reckons much of the criticism that heads in his direction is the result of jealousy of what he achieved as manager of Stevenage.

“Anyone who watched my teams closely and regularly will know that they are encouraged to play in the right way,” Westley stated.

“But sometimes you have to play to suit the players in your squad.

“At Stevenage I didn’t have centre-backs who were comfortable in possession. I had a goalkeeper with a bad ankle who couldn’t play as a sweeper-keeper.

“But, believe me, my education in football was all about passing and possession.

“I was at QPR when Terry Venables was the manager. He used to pick players with technical ability and he used to pick me.

“I was a striker who liked to play with the ball at my feet. I was never into challenging for headers or chasing long balls.

“I’ve kept that philosophy throughout my time in football. Of course my teams could go direct when they had to and they used to fight tooth and nail for every inch on the football field.

“I’m not apologising for that. I used to love it when opponents moaned about how competitive my teams were. When they used to moan about our style of play, I put that down to jealousy.

“I always wanted to recruit players with good technical skills at Stevenage, but we were a small club and it wasn’t always possible.

“I managed to get George Boyd there though and I manageed to sign Luke Freeman. They were top quality, highly-skilled players and we played good football through them.

“A lot of what is said and written about me are myths.

“I am on the same page football-wise as Grant McCann and Darragh MacAnthony.

“And I can honestly say to all the Posh fans that I want the same as them.

“I want a winning team, but I also wanto see an exciting, attacking brand of football and lots of goals.

“It’s unlikely that I will change anything I’ve seen from the team in the last couple of games. Why would I? There are players of great technical ability in the squad already. They showed at Oldham that they have the ability to play great football.

“I’ve managed over 800 games already so I feel I know what I am doing and this club should be perfect for me.

“I’d love to be here for five, 10 years because that would mean that the club has been successful. I’d love to be here for as long as Sir Alex Ferguson was at Manchester United because that would mean we’ve been really successful.

“I reckon we we have every chance of being there or thereabouts at the top end of League One by the end of this season.

“ If we’re not I’d be very disappointed and probably sacked!”