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MANAGER: We'll continue to manage them

Paul Simpson on players returning and Saturday's knocks

28 August 2022

Club News

MANAGER: We'll continue to manage them

Paul Simpson on players returning and Saturday's knocks

28 August 2022

United boss Paul Simpson revealed after the game on Saturday that a couple of players were showing signs of illness in the lead-up to kick off, but he refused to use it as an excuse for what had been a slow start from his team.

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“We talk about character, and I think a win like that gives them confidence,” he told us. “But I don’t understand why they didn’t go into the game with confidence anyway.

“Yes, we had a poor performance at Stevenage last week, but they should still be confident. It isn’t a tactical thing, it’s more a mental aspect and they’re in control of that.

“That’s their bag, they can deal with the games and start games in the way they want to. It was a little bit of a concern because we had a player feeling sick as he went up the tunnel before the game and one was feeling a bit faint at half-time.

“That’s a worry that maybe there’s a bit of a bug going around and maybe that affected them. It’s not an excuse, but we have to make sure that we’re better and physically prepared come Tuesday night.”  

“We’re expecting Ryan Edmondson back in training on Monday after doing bits with us this week,” he continued. “I felt this game was too early for him, and I felt it was too early to start Morgan Feeney as well.

“Hopefully he’ll get a run out on Tuesday for us. Hopefully we can start to show that there is more to come with the performances ahead.

“Like most lads who are injured Edmo wants to be out there. He was saying to me on Friday that he was ok to join in, but we had to be careful.

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“He’s had an ultrasound scan on the top of his thigh today, and it’s definitely settling down. It’s improving because of him being shut down for a few games.

“He’s done a lot of work, he got up to about 95 percent of his high speed on Thursday and Friday and we now get an opportunity to have a full week of work with him.

“Hopefully he’ll be ready to come into the 18, whether he’s right to start or not we’ll have to see come the weekend, we just hope he comes through the week with no issues.

“Again, this is one of them niggly injuries we have to get put to bed as much as we possibly can, similar to Owen Moxon, and hopefully we can get him out on the pitch for a sustained period of time.”

The deliberate approach to timescales on the returns for all of the recently injured players is an example of the patience needed that the manager has often talked about, with him preferring to take every precaution in a bid to keep as many available as possible for as long a period as possible.

“Credit to Ross the physio and to Geoff Haugh, for the work he does with them on the rehab side of things,” he explained. “They’ve done really well to get the lads to the point they’re at now.

“We do have to be careful. Mox is one of those how has just come into the game full-time again, and there are demands being put on him that he’s not used to physically.

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“Then he’s had Saturday-Tuesday games, so there’s a process going on with him there. He’s wanted to play, but when you ask these lads how they are, they’re all going to say they want to play.

“Edmo told me he wanted to train on Friday and we had to hold him back. I don’t think he’ll be involved on Tuesday either, but let’s see. With Hunts, he said he was ready to play on Thursday and I thought he did really well.

“He was starting to feel his calf in the first half, just tightness, so we felt we had to take him off. Again, as I keep saying, we have to take a longer-term view on it because we want to make sure everybody is right.

“Mox was just starting to stretch his calf again, a bit of cramp, so we changed him. When we’ve got players who can step in, we have to use them.

“Sonny Hilton came on and affected the game, because he worked and chased and kept possession, and I thought Jayden gave us a bit of energy in there. Morgan stepped in as if he hadn’t been away, you’d have never known he had been, so we’ve started to get better options.

“The more options we do have the more we’re going to be able to stay on the front foot in games, and hopefully that will relate to improved performances and results.”

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Players receiving in-game treatment yesterday included Callum Guy and Jack Armer, who both received whacks during the course of the 90 minutes.

“Jack got a ball to the ear, and when he came off I asked if he was feeling dizzy, but he said no I just can’t hear anything,” he told us. “It just rattled his lugs. He’ll be fine.

“Callum got a kick and a twist on his ankle first half, he was ok to carry on, and Owen Moxon and Hunts were just feeling a little bit of tightness, which is understandable after being out a few weeks.

“We took them off as a precaution. To be perfectly honest that was always in my mind before the game, I was hoping we could get into a position where we could take them out of it and not push it too far.

“I was delighted with that. Another week of training for them, another game to be involved in and hopefully they’re ready for the home game next week. 

“For Callum, I think that’s just the type of player he is. He battles and scraps and gets there and breaks things up. I’ve got to say, at no point so far this season have we had to wrap him up in any cotton wool.

“I think I’m right in saying he’s trained every session, been involved in every game and he’s a good sort. I think the fact he hasn’t got the armband has freed him up a little bit and I’ve been really pleased with what he’s done so far this season.”

And on a first start for Paul Huntington, he said: “He’s a leader. He has experience, he wins headers, he talks, organises, does everything I want him to do.

“He’s just got to carry that on, so we’ll get him freshened up this week and get him ready to go again. Hopefully he’ll give us another good performance next week.

“You know what he’ll give because he trains that way as well. Me being a big selfish, I thought he could have played last week, at Stevenage, I thought he was ready.

“But I understand that he wanted a bit longer to train, and he’s trained this week really well. He’s a good character, good personality about him, and I think everybody can see what he’ll bring to the team.

“What we have to do is make sure we manage him right so he’s going into games fresh and we’re not slogging him and wearing him out so he can’t go and perform in the way we know he can.”

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