Westley 'relieved' to leave Newport job behind

Graham Westley has spoken of his relief after his five-month tenure at Newport County was brought to an end.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 1:24 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Former Newport boss Graham Westley

Westley was sacked this time last week with the club 11 points adrift of safety - a gap which has now been cut to seven points with the Exiles securing back-to-back wins under caretaker boss Mike Flynn.

Newport, who face Blackpool at Rodney Parade this weekend, now have just nine games to maintain their Football League status.

Speaking to The Football League Paper, Westley said: "Whenever I have lost a football management job in the past, I have felt a sense of disappointment. In myself. In those that lost faith in me. In the things that needed changing that I didn’t change or couldn’t change. I hate failing. And I hate free Saturdays. I thrive on the buzz of the next game.

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"But this week has been different. I feel relieved to have left the Newport challenge behind. I really do.

"I wasn’t having fun. I was not enjoying the slog. Everything was harder than it can possibly be if you are going to win consistently.

"There are times when I wish I was a quitter. Because I could easily have walked away from Newport. I did resign in late November when I realised just how frustrating the job was to me.

"But I was persuaded to stay when the club fired its secretary instead of letting me leave and I took on my sense of duty to give my heart to the job and fulfil my contract.

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"I could be bitter or defensive about my time at Newport. I could talk ill of certain things but I won’t. Dignity matters. I know I did a lot of good work.

"However it is wrapped up, my view is that the club invested in bringing a League One manager (44% win record at Posh last season) in to create a miracle, lost faith after the loss to Orient that it would happen and cannot afford my salary if they do slip into the National League. So they are taking steps before money issues get away from them. Simple. Understandable. I get that. It is fan owned and there is no big backer. Money matters.

"Given time I’d have done a bit better still. And a bit better again. Because I’d have relentlessly pursued betterment throughout all areas of the club until we got it to the best level it could be at. Winning isn’t a click of the fingers. It is an everyday and incremental process.

"I am 49 years old. I have worked for four Football League clubs. Wikipedia shows that I have managed 889 games, with a 46+% win record and an aggregate goal difference of +287. Not too many managers can offer statistics like that and my FA Cup credentials add weight to my CV.

"I’ll dust myself down now and begin developing my skills for the future. Football is ever- changing and a manager who wishes to thrive in the future must learn to evolve and adapt enormously."