Ex-Preston North End boss Westley back in Stevenage hotseat

Westley has taken over from Mark Sampson
Westley has taken over from Mark Sampson

Former Preston North End boss Graham Westley is back at Stevenage for a fourth spell in charge as the struggling League Two outfit attempt to drag themselves out of relegation trouble.

Westley who took the club into the Football League almost 10 years ago, started work today with caretaker boss Mark Sampson returning to his duties as first-team coach.

It will be the fourth time chairman Phil Wallace has appointed the 51-year-old, who has more than 900 games under his belt as a manager.

Wallace told the club’s official website: “Graham got us into the Football League almost 10 years ago and I can’t think of anyone better equipped to reinvigorate the team and start winning matches.

“Graham knows the club inside out, we know each other inside out and he is desperate to put his career back on track.

“We need a manager with extensive experience, someone motivated to win and someone who knows how to win in this league.

“We started this season four months ago thinking we would be promotion candidates, and the season so far has been a rude awakening for us all.”

Former England women’s boss Sampson was placed in temporary charge in September following the departure of Dino Maamria and has presided over 18 games, securing four wins and nine draws.

Wallace said: “Mark has made us hard to beat and there are 10 teams below us in the last six form table.

“But we have not won the points needed to climb the table, so it is time to introduce someone with experience into the mix.

“Given our current league position, this is not the time for us to experiment with managers. I need someone I trust and I trust Graham.

“We are coming into a window and every game is important, not only to maintain our league status, but to build a side that challenges for honours.”