Football

Westley reveals 5-0 masterplan

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Stevenage manager Graham Westley insisted he had told his players to "go out and win 5-0" after pulling off one of the greatest shocks in FA Cup history.

In the end the League Two side could manage only a 3-1 triumph against Newcastle with goals from Stacy Long, Michael Bostwick and Peter Winn. But it was enough to consign Newcastle to their most humiliating Cup defeat since they were beaten famously by non-league Hereford United in 1972.

Westley put it down partly to the psychology of a confidence-boosting team talk and said: "The focus before the game was how we would win 5-0. We established that if we did just 20% of what it would take to win 5-0 we would still win the game. Our game plan was to get to five. Three wasn't five but it was a decent result."

He added: "You only ever win by being positive. We played to our strengths and their weaknesses. The top players are not infallible, they all have their weaknesses and winning is about exposing their weaknesses and playing to your strengths and we did that."

Westley also revealed how Stevenage's philosophy is to work harder than the Premier League big earners.

He said: "They work long hours. They arrive at 10.30 in the morning and leave at five at night. They've won a cup (the 2009 FA Trophy), a championship and now they have put this in their trophy cabinet as well. I'm delighted for the players.

"This is a fantastic day for the football club. We're in the draw for the fourth round and hopefully we get a great draw and look forward to the next medal.

"It's down to the work ethic of the players. They've given up their Christmases, they've not seen their families. They've had to stay in hotels. It has been horrific, but credit to them. There are some young lads out there with massive futures in front of them."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, meanwhile, was left to apologise for a performance which belied their recent upsurge in Premier League form.

Pardew, who believed the Christmas programme had exhausted his players, said: "The physical side of Stevenage's game was a problem for us all night. I can only say we are sorry for the result and for the performance because it was the performance level which was the problem. We were running on empty. It's been such a tough sequence of games."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Peter Winn
Football
Premier League
Stevenage
Hereford United
Newcastle United
League Two
FA Cup
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