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Club News

MANAGER: An opportunity to perform

Paul Simpson ahead of tonight's Papa Johns Trophy game

30 August 2022

Club News

MANAGER: An opportunity to perform

Paul Simpson ahead of tonight's Papa Johns Trophy game

30 August 2022

United’s first group game in this season’s Papa Johns Trophy competition brings the Manchester United U21 side to Brunton Park tonight, with manager Paul Simpson looking to give some of the players who haven’t started games a run-out under the lights.

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“We’ll follow the rules, we’ll make sure there are enough players who tick the boxes - Cat 1 academy, 40-plus games, played Saturday or will play next Saturday, all of these things, it’s a minefield.

“Before the Gillingham game I had an idea of what the team was going to be, and unless I get told anything different by the medical department then I will make changes, because I think it’s an opportunity to utilise the whole squad. It gives players minutes and keeps them part of it.

“We’ll have a team out that ticks all those boxes, and it will give us an opportunity to have a look at players that haven’t had many minutes. Taylor Charters will be involved, it gives me a good chance to have a look at him, he won’t be able to play the full game but we will have a look at him.

“We’ll use the opportunity to get everybody freshened up over the week, give other lads minutes and hopefully put a team out that goes and performs and gets a victory.”

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“Everybody who was on the bench on Saturday comes into my thinking,” he added. “We’re fortunate we’ve got a good group. I had to make a decision that one person missed out today and unfortunately for Jack Ellis it was him, but he’ll certainly come into my thinking.

“Players like Ryan Carr, Nic Bollado, who went and played with the youth team, they’ll come into my thinking to be involved. I wanted them to play in the youth team so they’ve got minutes under their belt rather than coming in and being involved in a game where they haven’t played any minutes recently.

“Everybody who trains with us will have an opportunity to play, as long as I’m able to fill all the criteria that’s needed.”

“It’s a great opportunity against some top young Manchester United players,” he commented. “I’ve been really fortunate, I’ve been to the final of this competition a few times, and it’s a great day out.

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“It’s a fantastic opportunity and in my last year here we made a lot of money out of it where Fred [Story] was able to throw it in and build a new pitch, which we’re still benefitting from now.

“The early stages are a bit of a slow burner but we’ve just got to go out and perform, get a result and get ourselves ready for the next one.

“We’re able to see what they might do, I’ve got their two U21 fixtures, they played Fulham last night and Everton the week before, both 2-2 draws.

“We know they’re going to be young, talented players, we know they’re probably going to have a bit of pace about them.

“We’ve got to make sure our Football League experience comes out on top. Who knows. We’ll look t what they’re about, prepare, and hopefully we’ll go and perform.”


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