Ian's perfect answer
DROPPED after a below par performance at Hull City, Ian Westlake responded with the winner against Luton Town on Saturday. The midfielder blasted in the winner after his sharp run was spotted by Darren Currie, who hit a sublime pass to him.
By Derek Davis
DROPPED after a below par performance at Hull City, Ian Westlake responded with the winner against Luton Town on Saturday.
The midfielder blasted in the winner after his sharp run was spotted by Darren Currie, who hit a sublime pass to him.
Westlake, who has been struggling to fully recover from an ankle injury, was delighted to show he is getting back to his best after being left on the bench.
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He said: “Sometimes you get left out of the team, so you just have to get on with it and then you need to prove you are worthy of getting back in the team and, hopefully, I showed that.
“The gaffer knows my strong points and weak points and hopefully I did that. I'm not quite as fit as I was when I was at my best but I'm getting there.”
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Westlake also paid tribute to Currie's outstanding vision and delivery.
He said: “It was out of the top drawer. You do not see many players in our division who can do that. Darren has hit a massive ball. I could have been blindfolded and it would have landed on my chest then, after that, it was about finishing.
Manager Joe Royle admitted he had dropped Westlake rather than just rested him as he felt the midfielder was hugging the wing too much and not doing what he does best.
He said: “It has been a long time coming from Westy. I left him out after the Hull game because I was disappointed with him.
But when he does that he is a fantastic asset. I don't want him to be an Arnold Muhren, I just want him to run.”
Royle praised the all-round performance and said the team spirit was second to none.
He said: “It was a fantastic win and we showed great spirit. If anyone questions the team, myself as manager, the chairman or the board - don't question the spirit
“Even in all the adversity, we have had that spirit shining through.”
“The crowd wanted to see the glass half full rather than half empty and, although it was quiet at times, there was no carping at players and we need that.
“There will be better times ahead, we just need to get a team that is representative.”
Luton manager Mike Newell was disappointed with his strikers inability to take their chances and, when the Hatters thought they had forced an equaliser, it was ruled out by referee Andy D'Urso, who has sent a striker off in the previous two games where both teams have been involved.
Newell said: “For some reason they don't show the same belief or conviction away from home as they do at home.
“We created enough chances to win and we were comfortable in the game so it was annoying.
“I could not see anything wrong with the Steven Howard goal but it was not my decision and the referee has given it for a push on the keeper.”