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Club News

MANAGER: It was a missed opportunity

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday game

22 December 2022

Club News

MANAGER: It was a missed opportunity

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday game

22 December 2022

Adding to the frustration felt at Northampton having lost a game in which the players had worked so hard was the overriding feeling that the points had been given away, rather than lost.

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“Credit to the players because despite everything that had gone on, we kept going and we got into some really good areas,” manager Paul Simpson said.

“One of those situations did come off for us, but it was disallowed. But, yeah, we had other opportunities where we didn’t quite get it right, and there are all sorts of ifs and buts from that game.

“It’s a really strange feeling because I really hadn’t got a clue what we were going to be like. After not playing for such a long period, and we have to remember that Monday was the first time we’d been out on the grass since I can’t even remember.

“We’ve made as good as we could have made things and I’m quite sure that the Northampton manager will be saying the same thing. They’ve faced the same issues.

“Well done to Northampton for getting the game on, it was the right decision to do what we did, so well done to them for that.

“Sadly it doesn’t help us in any way at all because it’s a missed opportunity. We had a chance to go fourth in the table if we’d won, and we probably should have got a point out of it.

“But because of certain circumstances we haven’t, so the only thing we can do is make sure we’re ready for the next one.”

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“I’ve said it already, this type of game in this situation is about the team that was going to make the fewest mistakes, and sadly we made a few more than they did.

“We’ve just got to make sure we assess where we could have been better, and learn to deal with the little hiccup we had better.”

From a team that has shown such character and resilience, it’s even more disappointing when something that this comes along.

“We haven’t done it often, but we did it at home to Rochdale and away to Walsall, and we’ve done it here, so off the top of my head that’s three times too many where we’ve let things go,” he commented.

“We need to be able to deal with situations better when things go against us because we’re not going to get a free run at anything.

“We’re going to have moments in games, especially against the top sides, where we’ll come under a bit of pressure.

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“They turn you, they make you defend, they do all of the basics, and Northampton did it all more consistently than we did over the 90 minutes. Once we calmed down we did create more opportunities, but sadly nothing came from it.”

“Having said that, we had one really good one which we scored from, and which should have counted,” he continued. “It costs you. I’ve said it many times, I do know the assistants and referee have a difficult job to do, and it wasn’t the reason we conceded two poor goals.

“We had a spell where we weren’t good and lost our way, but the majority of it we were disciplined, decent on the ball, good to watch. To repeat myself, we need to be consistently good at doing really simple things, and hopefully we will get a bit better than that. 

“Even within the Tuesday game we were better. When you’ve got people like Appere, who can make runs in behind and finish like he can, people like Hoskins, they’re going to cause you problems.

“We dealt with it really well for long periods and I thought there was a spell where they looked like they were going to go under. In the first half the crowd were turning, and abusing the manager for some strange reason when they’re sat in the position they are.

“But I just think we gave them leg up, which is really disappointing. A spell like that will cost you against the top teams, and probably against the bottom teams as well, if you let things go like that.”

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