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MANAGER: It was a game where we had to battle

Paul Simpson on the Colchester game

7 August 2022

Club News

MANAGER: It was a game where we had to battle

Paul Simpson on the Colchester game

7 August 2022

The Blues dominated the first half and battled hard through the second to take a point from their away trip to Colchester on Saturday afternoon, and there was plenty for manager Paul Simpson to mull over in his post-match press conference.

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“It was hard-earned, and I do think it was a very good point,” he agreed. “I was caught towards the end with do I stick or do I twist, and try and go for three points, and I did actually try to do that by going with a front three.

“I don’t think we had the same amount of quality in the second half as we did in the first, because we were really, really good with how we started the game.

“I was disappointed with the goal we conceded and we had some really good chances to put ourselves one, two or even three or four up, to be honest with you.

“I thought we killed them with our running and with the type of football we played. We have to take it on the chin, it was our own fault for the goal, even though it was a really good finish from the lad.

“Our whole mentality has been to look forward and play on the front foot, but we went backwards and square and we ended up conceding a really poor goal.

“The thing I told them was to make sure we had a ‘no risk’ mindset. Up front we have Denno and Edmo who will chase crisp packets if you ask them to, so I wanted us to play to that strength.

“Everyone will look at Ben Barclay, but the mistake that led to that goal came two passes before that for me, it should have gone forward from Mells. We played ourselves into that situation.

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“Let’s not beat about the bush, we have players who are still learning, who have deficiencies, that’s why we are at this level, we have to accept there’s going to be some errors along the way.

“I just think if we cut out the errors and do the things we know we’re capable of, if we can minimise the errors as much as possible, we're going to be in good positions in games more often than not.

“Look, it’s a good point, they threw all the ammunition on at the end, but seeing it through makes the journey a little bit easier as we now go back with something to show for it.”

It was a day where another string of good chances were created, without the return to show for it.

“I was frustrated after the first game that we hadn’t scored more, so yes, I am frustrated with this one as well,” he revealed. “We have to just keep it going, make sure we create the chances and try to turn them into goals.

“Some of the deliveries from Jordan Gibson were outstanding, and we had good deliveries from set plays where we didn’t get first contact.

“Our goal probably came from one of our worst set pieces, but we managed to get good positions from the second phase, the delivery was excellent and Denno does what Denno does. He got the little flick and in it goes.

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“Again, we have so many good things to be pleased about. I’ve just said to the players that this was a tough journey, it took a long time to get down here on Friday, and the conditions were hot.

“I know the pitch looks excellent but it’s actually really dry and that meant it wasn’t a pitch for running with the ball or for trying to play any football.

“That’s why I’m disappointed with the goal we’ve conceded because we didn’t need to do what we did, and we’ve ended up inviting them to come and press us. That’s what caused us the problem, all of our own doing.”

The equaliser felt like just desserts for what had bene a powerful performance.

“It would have been really frustrating if we hadn’t gone in level just because we missed the chances we’d made,” he agreed. “We’ve done a lot of things we can now build on and get better with, and it was good to get a couple of new lads in this week to help with that.

“They got their first taste of it and we’ve got to dust ourselves down now because we’re in a cup competition on Tuesday night that we want to stay in for as long as we can.

“In the second half we had players throwing their bodies on the line and they’ve had to work extremely hard. But, for me, that’s the base that we have to have for every single game.

“It doesn’t matter whether we play down here in Colchester, because we’ve had great support from fans who have travelled, or whether we do it at home.

“Our supporters want to see our players work hard and I don’t think it’s a lot to expect that from them. If they do that, then the ability comes through. We’ll keep creating chances but we’ve got to better at finishing them off.”

But, and as mentioned, with four points from a possible six there’s plenty to smile about.

“I’m satisfied,” he said. “We came in wanting to win it, we had opportunities to win it, and it didn’t happen, so if you’re not going to win you make sure you don’t lose.

“The way they defended at the end, Tomas had to make a save, we got blocks in, closed people down, I thought we did a hell of a lot of good things. First half we did some good stuff in possession going forward, second half we defended for our lives and earned the point. 

“We didn’t get any chances towards the end of the game and it was a different type of game, it was about just grinding out a result in the end. That’s what the lads did for us, so we have to be pleased.”

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