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MANAGER: We're disappointed, but it's another good performance

Paul Simpson with Shrewsbury match reaction

10 August 2022

Club News

MANAGER: We're disappointed, but it's another good performance

Paul Simpson with Shrewsbury match reaction

10 August 2022

United gave as good as they got in a game that went to the wire in Shrewsbury on Tuesday night, but ultimately it was a late goal that saw the home team through to tonight’s second round draw.

Match Reports

REPORT: Shrewsbury

9 August 2022

“Any way is horrible to lose, but the big thing for me is that I think the performance was right tonight,” manager Paul Simpson told us shortly after full time.

“I thought we were really good for long periods in the game and I thought the lads who came in for us were fantastic.

“Jayden Harris had had a great full debut for us and Sonny Hilton was excellent. The change in shape with Omari Patrick coming into it, they adapted, and I just think there are so many good things for us to take out of it.

“Yes, it’s hugely disappointing, but I’ve said to the players that if they get the level of performance right then over time the results will come.

“I think our level of performance in our first three games has been excellent. Although there’s the disappointment of being knocked out of the cup I’m really pleased when I look at the options we have available who can come off the bench, or start the game for us.

“They’ve all put a right good shift in for us. I think they all seem in a really good place in terms of fitness and their desire to want to do things properly.

“The starters have performed for us and the lads who came off the bench made an impact. That’s good to see.

“I tried it in pre-season with Jordan Gibson as a right wing back and that gave us a good option because we were chasing the game. I wanted to try and get it done in 90 minutes and unfortunately when you do that you get done with a bit of a sucker punch, which is what happened to us.

“That was disappointing for us, but overall we have to be really pleased. The supporters have seen us put a good shift in against a League One side, albeit a smaller League One side, they’re not one of the big ones, but we’ve given it everything and we can’t really ask any more.”

Club News

MANAGER: We'll see how they both are

10 August 2022

And having battled back to draw level, the timing of the winning goal, bagged from a set piece, was a real killer blow for the travelling contingent.  

“You never like to concede from a free kick,” the gaffer agreed. “One of the things we noticed about Shrewsbury is that they’re quite clever at set plays.

“It was a clever free kick. The lad spun off Gibbo, and we don’t expect Jordan to win those sorts of headers, but he competed.

“We always say that sometimes you aren’t going to win the first ball in, so it’s then about the second. The second went across the face of goal and we haven’t reacted quickly enough.

“We had enough bodies in there but we haven’t dealt with it, and that is a disappointment. When you’re up against a team that’s quite clever at set plays they catch you out, and that’s what they did to us.”

And when it came to free kicks, there was a real sense of frustration at some of the decisions that went against the away team.

“I think there were a lot of decisions where you have to question what the referee did,” he commented. “We get penalised for one of our players putting his foot towards the ball when it was low, and their player put a head in. They do the exact same thing on the halfway line and he waves play on.

“For the equaliser, there’s a foul on Fin Back out on the far side, and there’s a foul before it goes to the second phase of it. The lad comes through Fin from behind, and if he doesn’t give a free kick – it’s actually their player who goes through Fin and plays the ball, he smashed him in the back, it should have been our throw, but he gives it to them.

“It was a foul on the edge of the box, and great execution of the free kick, I have no argument about that at all. Maybe that’s just the quality you get from League One that they’re capable of doing that.

“The second goal comes when he took a good touch, and that’s a really good finish. We didn’t quite have that tonight and I think we’ve got players in our team who can produce it for us. We’ve just got to get them doing it consistently.

“I was annoyed with it, what happened to Fin, because unfortunately those sorts of ridiculous decisions cost teams. Like I say, I agree it was a foul on the edge of the box. I don’t have a problem with that, that was a free-kick, and it’s brilliant execution from their lad to score off it as well. No complaints about that part of it.

“But it’s how it gets there. It’s just rubbish. I don’t get that sort of thing. But you’ve got to just lift yourselves, there’s no point worrying about it. I’ve got to say, I think that was probably one of the poorest refereeing performances I’ve seen for quite a long time.

“A lot of decisions I thought were incredible. But they’re really struggling for referees at the moment because they’ve all failed their fitness tests, so I would imagine he’ll get a really good game at the weekend again.”

“Look, officials give the decisions that are easy and have absolutely no effect on the game, just to try and cover it up,” he continued. “But we’ve been beaten, they’ve scored three good goals.

“The poor refereeing isn’t the reason we’ve lost, so let’s forget about it and let him get on with his jolly life after tonight.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and get ready for a really good game that we’re looking forward to at the weekend. We’ve got to lift ourselves and go and perform again, perform like we have done in these first three games of the season where that level has been really good.

“You look at tonight, we’ve made a few changes to freshen it up. I’ve used tonight to try and get Omari some minutes, to get Sonny and Jayden into the game. Corey’s come in because of an injury to Morgan.

“I think they’ve all been excellent, along with the lads who’ve already been excellent for us. They’re putting a right shift in for the football club, the team, for each other. And we’ve just got to keep them fresh and ready to go again.”

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