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MANAGER: We had to adjust to little situations

Paul Simpson on important minutes for players

31 August 2022

Club News

MANAGER: We had to adjust to little situations

Paul Simpson on important minutes for players

31 August 2022

Manager Paul Simpson has spoken about how hard it is for players to find the pace of a competitive fixture when they haven’t been involved game by game on a number of occasions already this season, with Tuesday night perhaps being an example of just how difficult it can be to step up to the plate.

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“We’re guilty of it as coaches where we come away from games and say a player was nowhere near it, but we’ve got to take some of the blame because we haven’t given them minutes beforehand,” he agreed. “The likes of Sonny, Jack, Duncan and Jayden haven’t played a lot of minutes, but they all did well, and that's what you want to see.

“There are opportunities in this competition and there’s another opportunity next Tuesday to get them up to speed, because we want everybody to be as ready as possible.

“Having said that, when we put them into the team they’ve got to go and work and go and do it. Hopefully it they do that they’ll get up to the speed we need for League Two football. That’s the only thing that matters. They’ve got to be right.

“Jamie Devitt is an example and I’m pleased he got his goal. It’s huge, great for Jamie, and the fact he’s got 90 minutes as well. And he showed some really good touches out there.

“He’s got great awareness. He’s a good pro, a really good personality to have around the club. He’s earned that goal, got into the right area. I thought it was a really good move, albeit a long ball up to Ryan Edmondson, he’s won a flick-on, we’ve had runners going in behind, we’ve kept the ball alive.

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“Lots of positives we can take and we’ve just got to keep everybody right, not just Dev, but all the lads in and around it.”

“We have a couple of concerns for the weekend in terms of injuries,” he added. “I had players out there who I didn’t want to play the full 90, but I’ve had to because we’ve had little situations that change your thinking.

“Jack Ellis felt ill, and Duncan Idehen cramped up, so everybody’s in the frame come the weekend, and they have to make sure they come back in fresh on Thursday.

“I mentioned the bug at the weekend, and we’ve had a couple, maybe three or four who were struggling a bit at half time. I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t know what’s causing it, but we’ve got to hope it gets out of the system.

“I just thought, it sounds like I’m making excuses. It’s not an excuse. I don’t want anybody to think that. We’ve been undone by some really good technical footballers, and we’ve also undone ourselves because we haven’t been clinical in the final third and got that side of it right.

“As I’ve said, the pleasing things to come out of it are that we got Taylor Charters back on the pitch, and he was only ever going to play 45 minutes, that was always the plan.

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“We had to make a substitution with Duncan having to go off with cramp, which is really disappointing after 60-odd minutes. We’re going to have to work him and get him up to speed so that doesn’t happen to him.

“I’m pleased that Mox has got more time and I was delighted to get Ryan Edmondson back out there. He was always going to come on for 25 minutes.

“I didn’t really want to play Jordan Gibson but I just felt we needed to do something there because Jack was ill, and he had to go off because of that. The players are going to stay away tomorrow in the hope we can get it out of our system.

“There were a lot of good things, I thought Jayden Harris worked hard but got tired towards the end, so he needs more work. Sonny showed flashes of what he can do, Jack Stretton got into areas, but his game is about getting goals and he needs to be a bit more clinical in there.

“Omari looked bright playing on that left hand side, so there’s lot of options for us. It was about being serious about the game and also making sure we were managing everybody’s minutes.”

And he confirmed that there were other player situations to be managed, with another very busy period looming large.

“Hunts got a kick on his calf on Saturday so we didn’t want to risk him,” he explained. “Callum Guy picked up a bit of an ankle issue at the weekend so we didn’t want to risk him.

“Jack Armer and Fin Back have put a real shift in so far and I felt it was right to keep them out of the game, so hopefully we’ve had the chance to freshen players up.

“I suppose the proof will be in the pudding come Saturday if we go and put on a performance and learn from what we’ve seen, and make sure we’re better.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Paul Simpson on iFollow United now.

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