Stevenage Borough: Westley focused on FA Cup upset

Graham Westley has no interest in FA Cup history repeating itself when his Stevenage side face Newcastle.

The home side were a non-league outfit when they came up against Kenny Dalglish's Magpies in round four of 1997/98 and secured a famous 1-1 draw thanks to a header from Giuliano Grazioli.

The Premier League side scraped through in a replay at St James' Park but that January afternoon remains one of the highlights of the Hertfordshire club's history.

But Westley - who provided another key moment by guiding the club into the Football League for the first time last May - is not interested in another draw and has set his sights higher.

He said: "We go into games wanting to win and the side of 1998 drew so I am not interested in emulating that.

"It's our patch, it's our turf and we have the chance to dictate the terms of the play. We can make sure that the game is played to our strengths and to our advantage.

"As a group of people we don't do fear. We tend not to worry about the opposition and we are a positive bunch."

Alan Pardew's visitors were in Barclays Premier League action on Wednesday night and the new Magpies boss is expected to make changes to his side.

Westley's men, meanwhile, have been focused on the cup tie since dispatching Barnet 4-2 on Bank Holiday Monday and the former Farnborough and Rushden & Diamonds manager is prepared for any line-up.

He said: "I don't care what XI they put out.

"It will be good if they do put out a weakened side as it would suggest

that they think they won't have to be at their best to beat us and if they play their best side there will be players who don't want to be out there.

"So whichever way they go I can see reasons why it will play into their hands.

"We will look at their strengths and weaknesses and make sure we are in a position to take advantage.

"We had the chance to go and watch them play in midweek against West Ham so we know what we are coming up against.

"It's a big game for us all but I was Farnborough manager against Arsenal at Highbury when they were double winners which was arguably a more difficult game.

"But we will not underestimate a side who won the Championship last year. They have made a managerial change which they obviously think will take them forward and will be strong."

Richie Myler.

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