Graham Westley: Newport County boss determined to make mark in new role

By Mark PoyserBBC Wales football reporter
Graham Westley
Graham Westley left Peterborough United in April 2016

Newport County boss Graham Westley says his role at the club can be the best in his career and is confident he can save them from relegation.

The former Stevenage, Peterborough and Preston manager was appointed Warren Feeney's successor at Rodney Parade.

Westley takes over at the Exiles who are bottom of League Two and without a win in their last 10 games.

"I have to grab hold of this football club and produce an incredible performance," the 48-year-old said.

"I'm very determined to make this the best job I've ever done.

"I don't want Preston North End to be the biggest job I ever have in football. I want to make sure that I go and get something bigger than that and do better with it than I did there.

"If I'm going to get that sort of opportunity the next job I do, which is now this job, it has to be a sensational one."

Westley is County's sixth manager in the last 21 months and watched Saturday's 0-0 draw at Colchester United from the stands following his appointment 24 hours earlier.

First team manager Sean McCarthy left the club on Monday following the departure of Feeney, with former Southport boss Dino Maamria joining as Westley's assistant.

Sean McCarthy, who had been in caretaker charge since Feeney's departure, has left the club.

'Ideal appointment'

Director Gavin Foxall reiterated Westley was the unanimous choice of the board to succeed former Northern Ireland striker Feeney, who was sacked in September.

He believes the appointment of a manager who has managed at a higher level is a statement of the club's intent following criticism from some quarters.

"Football is great because it's an opinion based sport. Whether that's constructive criticism, unfair criticism or praise it goes along with the territory," Foxall said.

Dino Maamria and Graham Westley
Newport County assistant boss Dino Maamria (left) worked with Graham Westley at Stevenage when they won back to back promotions from the Conference to League One in 2010 and 2011

"We've got a manager whose record speaks for itself, he has managed in higher divisions, this division, he's won clubs promotion and his win record is very good.

"For us it's an ideal appointment and I suppose you could look on it as a bit of a statement, but we've gone through a process and he was the outstanding candidate.

"The lost important thing is that we think he'll get us out of the position that were in at the moment."

Westley's first game in charge will be at Yeovil on Saturday and despite their lowly position, he harbours long term aims of promotion.

"It's been three, four, maybe five years since I won a promotion and I want the next one. Success is what you're in the game for, putting your next mark down," he added.

"But if you want to achieve anything in football you have to concentrate on your next game and winning your next game. We mustn't start looking at what we're going to do next week or next month or even next year."

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