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MANAGER: They've brought in a lot of new faces

Paul Simpson on the Stevenage game

19 August 2022


MANAGER: They've brought in a lot of new faces

Paul Simpson on the Stevenage game

19 August 2022

Unbeaten Stevenage are United’s opponents this weekend, and another trip down the A1 awaits as the season continues to gather pace.

“It’ll be a tough one, there’s no doubt about it,” manager Paul Simpson said. “I just hope we can keep creating the number of chances we create because we’re going to score goals if we do, it’s as simple as that.

“When I was here last year we had games where we couldn’t create chances, so this is a nice turnaround to have. The truth of it is, though, you’ve got to keep doing it.

“What you’ve done previously just doesn’t count, apart from making nice stats to look at. It’s points on the board you want.

“I’m pleased with the way we’ve played so far, but it has to continue. None of it counts for anything if we start to lose more than we win.

“We’ve only just set out on this long journey of the season that we have ahead of us, it’s been good so far, but football can change so quickly. We have to make sure the change is in our favour.”

Speaking of change, Steve Evans was true to his word with a significant change of playing personnel over the summer.

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“They’ve brought in a lot of new faces,” he commented. “I only hear rumours, but it seems that they’re having a right go at it in terms of the financial input that their directors have given to Steve.

“We know it’s going to be a tough test, they’ve got a really experienced group of players there, and this weekend will be another test of our personality, like it was at Grimsby. We have to be able to deal with a direct style of play which is really effective.

“It might be a tin hat job that we have to put on and defend for our lives, and hope the way we’re playing and creating chances comes to the front and we can be successful in that.

“I believe it’s going to be quite warm so there should be no risk of a waterlogged pitch, but it will be a real test and we’ll see what sort of character we’ve got.

“We’re both unbeaten in the league and that’s a good challenge for both of us. We want to make sure we stay unbeaten and set ourselves up for the Gillingham home game.”

And it comes down to that much used word – consistency – with both teams having set their respective stalls out attractively so far.

“That’s what it’s about,” he agreed. “In a cup game you can sneak a result in one round then nick a result in the next round, but in the league it’s about being consistent over the 46 games.

“That’s why I liked it when there were no play-offs, even though the play-offs are brilliant for supporters, but to be a strong league team you’ve got to be consistent over 46 games.

“If you get in the play-offs it turns into a bit of a cup competition, which is different. For me, I want us to be consistent over 46 games and take whatever comes from it.”

“And Steve Evans has got his team performing,” he said. “I’m not surprised at all by that. He’s one of those managers who knows how to put a winning team together. He’s got a very good record.

“I’d also like to think they’ll be looking at what we’ve done so far and known we can be a threat. The big thing for me is we can go out this weekend, on what will be a difficult challenge for us, and make sure we make the best of our ability.


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“We have to be mindful of the threats they have but I don’t think we need to be scared about it. We’ve just got to go and play our game. 

“By me saying that, that’s certainly me not being disrespectful to anybody, it’s just the way I think we are best prepared if we really focus on us. If we can get our game right, we can be a match for a lot of teams.” 

With Carlisle being Carlisle distances to travel are always a factor, but there’s never going to be an excuse for our Cumbrian-born boss.

“I’ve said it all along, but Carlisle is where it is and we can’t change it,” he insisted. “We’ve just got to get on with it and we accept that we’re going to have some long journeys.

“I know the miles we cover is ridiculous but it’s not the end of the world. We look after the players well, the motorways on a Friday can be busy, but sometimes you get a bit of luck and sail through.

“And the fans are brilliant, we’ve had incredible support so far. Even Tuesday night, it was lashing down, but they stayed to clap us off again.

“I’m sure we’ll get good support at Stevenage again and hopefully we put on a performance for them to send them home happy.” 

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