The reaction to the news that Paul Simpson had agreed a three-year deal was exactly as expected on Wednesday night – and all the way through today – as a wave of optimism and excitement spread across social media.
And Paul Simpson admitted that he felt the support he’s received from the fanbase had played a huge part in the decision-making process.
“I think the supporters have convinced me,” he said. “I think they’ve shown me what sort of backing they can give us.
“The truth is, if there wasn’t that level of popularity, I wouldn’t have got the job. People can say whatever, but the supporters got me the job here, that’s what’s happened.
“The way they’ve gone about it, they’ve got me the job. The players have gone about their business and got results, I’m here just to oversee it and try and organise it, manipulate little situations.
“It’s been brilliant, from day one the support we’ve had has been absolutely fantastic, and we’ve got to do everything we can to keep it, because it can turn really quickly.
“We’ve got to do all we can to make sure they stay with us. I think they realise there’s issues inside this football club, there’s issues that they’re not going to solve and I’m certainly not going to solve either.
“Things like that we’ve just got to put on the backburner and focus on what happens on a Saturday. Let’s not concern ourselves with the stuff that goes on off the grass, let them people deal with that side of it and make sure the club’s in a better place.
“We have to concentrate on making this a really difficult place for opposition teams to come. That starts by supporters keeping a really strong atmosphere and by us performing to a level that makes it difficult.”
“The community side of things is so important,” he continued. “And that includes local businesses. There’s a company in this season we’re working with to make sure we upgrade everything, we’ve got a decorator who I thought lived here, I’ve seen his van outside the gym and he’s basically going from one end to the other, redoing it, freshening the place up.
“He's going to get a big shock because when the players leave after Bradford he’s going to be starting on the bottom level as well. There’s things going on and we’ve got to make sure we work to do all that, and make it a better place for supporters to come.
“We need local people to come and I am saying it with a begging bowl here - we need them to come and give us the sponsorship backing. Any local business that can afford it, I want them to back us, give us some support, and that will make the club better.
“Then on the community side we’ve got to go out and make sure we are a community football club, because I haven’t been into town much since I’ve come back, but everybody tells me there’s a real positive feeling.
“That’s what winning football games and a positive club does for the city. We’ve got to make sure we keep it, so we can go out as a club, as players and staff, out with John Halpin and his team in the community and show people we are approachable, show people we’ve got the club at heart.
“These lads in that changing room are willing to do it. We did it really well last time and there’s no reason we can’t this time, and the more we can do the better it is for us as a football club.”
“There are little changes we can make to help,” he told us. “I get the feeling the place needs freshening up, needs a bit of a facelift.
“Not majorly, just little things, to make it a little bit of a different environment when the players come back for pre-season. I hope we can do that.
“I just think it’s more positivity. I get the feeling there’s a lot of people in roles here that, well, ‘I’ve always been here’ – that’s not the reason you should still be here.
“I want people to be absolutely driven. If everybody’s driven, we’ve got a right good chance of achieving something.
“I just want this club to be better. That was the challenge when I came in 2003, we were working under CVA and had to take some pain, I don’t want that same pain again, but we had to take some tough times to get to the better times.
“I want it to be a bit easier than that tough time, but we’ve got to build this club and make it a better place to be.”
2022/23 season tickets go on sale this weekend.
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