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Club News

MANAGER: Getting the basics right

Paul Simpson on being composed in the final third

16 April 2022

Finding the back of the net and finishing things off in the good spells during games has been an achilles heel for the Blues this season, and they left the pitch at the Banks’s Stadium on Friday knowing they’d seen enough of the ball to have made more of an impact in what was an extremely tight game.

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“We’re not scoring goals, that’s blatantly obvious, but also we’re not keeping clean sheets either,” manager Paul Simpson said. “When I first came in, I forget what the minus number was in the goal difference column, but it was the worst in the league at that time.

“This isn’t something that’s just happened overnight and as a group we are where we are and we need to have serious conversations about improving it.

“We get into some good areas and we don’t produce the quality that I think we have got. It’s a case of getting the basics right, and I’ve just said to them that in football you have to work harder than the opposition.

“You’ve got to be prepared to compete, and by that I mean compete properly. Don’t give silly fouls away, don’t give possession away cheaply, and make sure you do it right.

“When you’re in a game you can’t afford to start doing things better once you’re behind, it has to be all the way.

“I’ll give credit to the three lads who came on, Tobi, Joe and Jack, they injected some life into us. Joe got himself on the ball and Jack got forward, but our decision making in that final third let us down, as well as our quality in key moments.”

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And on how that can be addressed through the remaining games, he commented: “We’ve just got to keep plugging away. We can’t change the players, we’ve just to get to keep working with them.

“I want us all to work hard to makes sure we end the season on a positive note, but that was a really tough watch for everybody.

“Credit to the fans because they stayed with the players and they were trying to encourage them on. We have to do more to give them something to shout about.

“It was a horrible journey for them. It’s not an easy one anyway, but when the M6 is closed for a couple of junctions it’s even harder.

“They were brilliant, they stayed with us, made more noise than the home fans, but unfortunately we didn’t give them much to shout about.

“They gave us enough encouragement. We have to make sure on Monday we give them a hell of a lot more to shout about against a very good Mansfield side.

“They’re a good football side with some verygood experienced professionals. We need to be back at it, otherwise it’s going to be a tough afternoon.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Paul Simpson on iFollow United now.

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