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MANAGER: The challenge for him is to work hard

More from Paul Simpson on the arrival of Duncan Idehen

19 August 2022

Club News

MANAGER: The challenge for him is to work hard

More from Paul Simpson on the arrival of Duncan Idehen

19 August 2022

United boss Paul Simpson confirmed yesterday that defender Duncan Idehen’s arrival provides much-needed cover and further options, and not just with a short-term view in mind.

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“The fact that he’s another defender gives us another option, so I’m really pleased we’ve got him,” he said. “I’ve brought him for the long-term, the half-season, not just for one game on Saturday.

“He needs to bed in and we’ll see where he is. He’ll get another day of training and that will allow him to get to know us more, and then we hope he’ll play a number of games between now and the end of his loan.

“He has the option to go back to Bristol City, if they decide they want him, but we also have an option to extend and keep him beyond the current agreement.”

“I’m delighted that we’ve got him signed” he continued. “I’ve made it quite clear over recent weeks, sometimes maybe a bit cryptic what I was saying, but I wanted a defender.

“I was looking to get a left-sided defender in because we’ve been short there. He’s got good background to him, he knows League Two football, he’s played in the Championship with Bristol City.

“I didn’t work with him in my time there, he came in the January after I left, but I’ve spoken to a couple of the staff there who’ve given him glowing references.

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“We had him watched in an U23s game recently to check he was fit, and I think he’ll be a really good addition.

“He’s a guy who likes defending, which is so different to how I wanted to play the game, but he likes defending, and he’s a good athlete, good size and hopefully he’ll prove to be a really good addition to the group.”

“He had a little taste of first-team football probably earlier than he expected at Bristol last season, when he got into their Championship side and performed really well,” he continued. “He’s had a good pre-season, so for us it was the right sort of player to bring in, somebody who’s hungry to do well, and we’ll see how he goes.

“The challenge for him is to work hard, get in the team as soon as he can, and then stay there. He’s got good athleticism, and he’s eager to learn and to improve. I don’t think you can have too many players who’ve got those qualities, so that should help him and us.”

Elaborating more on those qualities, he explained: “Everybody wants to be a silky footballer, but you have to be able to do the blood and guts. One of the guys I spoke to, Pat Mountain one of the goalkeeping coaches at Bristol City, he said Dunc is like a magnet to the ball when he’s defending.

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“He said he’s just somebody who heads it, clears it, and we’ve done some work this morning on defending in our final third. He is that, he gets into good areas to defend it, gets good, strong contact on it.

“It’s a massive part of the game that is actually becoming a bit of a dying art, that you’ve got somebody who enjoys doing that side of it. 

“I see him being a centre-back for us. I’m hoping Taylor Charters getting fit over the next week or two will give us an option as left wing back, we are a little bit short on left-footed players in the group. Getting Duncan in is a big plus for us, I’m really pleased to get him in the club.”

The summer window still has a fortnight left to run, but that could well be it for the Blues, injury situation pending.

“I would think so, unless something jumps out at us that we think will be a major change for our squad, or even if somebody approaches us to take any of our players away that leaves us a bit short,” he said.

“Once we get everybody fit, I think we’ve got a really good balance to our group and we’ve got some really good options. Probably some really good headaches for me when it comes to selecting a team, but I want to have good options and hopefully that will be the case over the next few weeks. 

“I’m hoping we’ve had all the bad luck in terms of injuries and I can get everybody fit. I’m happy with what we’ve got, we’ve got a good group.

“It’s getting us through this short-term period and then, like I say, we can enjoy the selection headaches we’re going to have when we have them all wanting to wear the shirt.”

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