20:19 Saturday 12 April 2014  Written by ALAN SCOTT

Stevenage boss Graham Westley says he's the knight in Monty Python as he searches for Holy Grail of staying up - but is this parrot dead?

Graham Westley Graham Westley

QUOTING from Monty Python during his post-match press conference, you might have thought it was more like ‘this parrot is dead’ but determined Stevenage boss Graham Westley said he felt more like the knight in Spamalot who has had his arms and legs chopped off and is shouting defiantly that he won’t be beaten.

Four points adrift of safety and in the midst of an eight-game winless streak, Westley refuses to give up on his side’s Sky Bet League One future despite today’s 3-2 home defeat against fellow strugglers Colchester United.

The Boro boss might be searching hard for his Holy Grail of a third season in League One, but he will need to work miracles to hammer that message home to his confidence-shredded players.

But Westley will never give up and is targeting wins against Sheffield United, Bristol City, Walsall and Brentford to stay up.

He said: “I’m going to be like the man on Spamalot. He’s dancing around with just his head when he’s lost his arms and legs. I’ll be fighting until the end.

“You just never know. I was trying to get across to the team. MK Dons when they came here were two down with 15 to go and they pulled it out the fire, they scored three late goals.

“They had that sense of desire and that sense of belief. That’s what sense and belief can do for you. I don’t think we had that sense of desire and belief [against Colchester]. I was screaming into an empty tea cup, talking late on. I did not feel the team was ready to believe and have that sense of desire that you need to win a game.

“I will find players that can pull the impossible out of the pan. That’s the job this week. To make the impossible possible. Four games to win. We want four on the bounce but it’s going to be a big ask from where we are now.

“It has been a tough, tough season. I felt a lot of the work we do all week is not wanted. I feel the learning mentality,the people that I have worked with this season, they don’t want to hear what’s there to be taught.

“They believe they know all of the answers. Anyone who has been close to me knows I have been saying that from early on in the season.

“Not a lot has changed. So if you are working with a lot of people who don’t want to learn, don’t want to do it your way, in an organised way with each other, then you are not going to get the results.

“We are where we are. What we can do is do something unbelievable and that is going and winning four games. We won three and drew one not so long ago, all be it against weaker sides.

“But you look at the final day. Brentford are going to be up. That’s going to be a party. You know what can happen. Leicester City showed that the other night.

“Perhaps there is hope there. Next weekend is massive. We have to win games back to back there. And then we have to beat Walsall at home. Bristol City will be safe, they will be in mid-table and won’t have a lot to play for.

“They will be professional, but never the less it’s a game we can win. Sheffield are coming off the back of an FA Cup semi-final, so you never know what the mood’s going to be there.

“So I’m thinking there’s four games there that we can win them all. But it’s going to take a hell of an effort to pull that out of the fire.

“In terms of our survival chances, it’s probably mission impossible now.

“Everyone will write us off. We’ve got four games to go and probably need to win them all now, which is obviously a big ask for us.

“But we will fight on to the bitter end and we certainly won’t give up.”

On the game itself, Westley said: “We made a great start and were one-up going into half-time but had not really played with the belief that we could go on and score more goals to build on our advantage.

“I was trying to get a message across to the players to be more positive but it was too late and Colchester scored just before the break, which then gave them an extra bit of belief for the second half.

“After the break we came out with a game plan but, before you knew it, we’d conceded again and were 2-1 down.”

< Back

Today's Features