Graham Westley: Peterborough United name ex-Stevenage boss

Graham Westley
Graham Westley (centre) had three spells in charge of Stevenage

Peterborough United have appointed former Stevenage boss Graham Westley as their new manager.

The League One side have been without a permanent boss since sacking Dave Robertson on 6 September.

Former Preston manager Westley, 47, has been without a job since leaving Stevenage in May, after losing in the League Two play-off semi-final.

He watched from the stands as Posh drew 1-1 with Walsall on Saturday, leaving them 18th in the league.

"I'm thrilled. This is a great opportunity, it's a great football club," said Westley.

"There's not too many other clubs in League One spending around £4m putting a squad together. £1.5m came off the bench on Saturday, so there's real strength and depth, and the opportunity to work with a talented squad at a place that knows how to win is fantastic for me."

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Sam Edwards:
"When news of Graham Westley's appointment spread on Sunday morning, the majority of Peterborough fans were left underwhelmed and disappointed.
"Some have concerns over Westley's style of football, just as many supporters were starting to get excited by the improvement in performances in the two games under caretaker boss Grant McCann.
"Chairman Darragh MacAnthony has, though, re-iterated his desire for any manager at Posh to provide attacking, entertaining football in a bid to win promotion from League One."

Westley's most successful stint at a club was his second in charge of Stevenage, when he led them from the Conference into League One.

He left for a brief spell at Preston, and returned to Broadhall Way in March 2013, but could not prevent Boro being relegated from the third tier in 2013-14.

Westley replaces Robertson, who was dismissed after a run of three wins from 17 games in all competitions.

Graham Westley
Westley won the League Two play-off final with Stevenage against Torquay in 2011

Since his sacking, Posh beat Oldham 5-1 and drew with the high-flying Saddlers under caretaker Grant McCann, who Westley said "would play a big part" at the club under his management.

Westley flew out to the United States to meet Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony, who said he did not judge him on an "his apparent obsession with fitness and physicality over style, flair and fast free-flowing football" from his time at Preston.

"I will never as chairman of this football club sit back and watch what could be described as hoof ball or direct and ugly, uninspiring football," MacAnthony said in a statement.external-link

"So understand that Graham Westley is clear on his objectives, what I want and the job that needs to be done at our club and quickly."

Meanwhile chief executive Bob Symns confirmed to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire that Robertson will not be returning to the ABAX Stadium.