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Club News

MANAGER: There's not a lot between us

Paul Simpson ahead of tonight's game

20 December 2022

Club News

MANAGER: There's not a lot between us

Paul Simpson ahead of tonight's game

20 December 2022

Everybody connected with the club is looking forward to seeing the lads back out on the grass this Tuesday night, and it couldn’t be more mouth-watering with fellow pace setters Northampton Town our hosts.

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Speaking ahead of the fixture, Paul Simpson said: “They’re a good side with a good home and away record. We know it’ll be tough, but I’ll imagine they’ll look at us and think the same.

“They’ll be expecting a tough game off us with the away record you’ve mentioned. We’ve had a good 20 games in the league and, as I’ve said many times, the next one is the most important and we hope that after 21 we’re in an even better position.

“We’ve done well in this type of game against sides who are pushing. Even when I look at the Orient game, where we had a fantastic start, without the sending off it would have been a proper match for them.

“We’ve done ok against the top sides and against the other sides, and we’ve just got to keep it going. There are 26 games to go and this is the next one for us.

“It’s a really good one, but I look at them all – this one, Bradford, Crewe, Doncaster, this next little block of games – and they’re all great games to look forward to. Hopefully we’ll make the most of all of them.”

“They’re just a tough side to play against in general,” he continued. “Both Hoskins and Pinnock can cause problems, they have strikers with energy about them and they have a set way of playing, developed over the last few seasons, which has been effective.

“They are one of the fancied teams and they’re having a right go in terms of the financial backing they’re getting. It’s just the next game for us and we have to deal with it properly.

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“I just look at, if I compare the two sides, us and them, there’s not a hell of a lot between us. We’ve just got to make sure we go and perform, that’s what matters.

“What’s happened in previous games has gone, it’s about how we cope with each other. We’ve got to make sure we have seven or eight players win their individual battles, and if we do that hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

As ever when teams close to each other meet, it’s a chance to build confidence and maintain momentum, particularly at crucial stages of the campaign.

“I’ve said this a few times, we have an opportunity to put a bit of a marker down,” he agreed. “It’s one of those games where if we can get a result away from home on Saturday, it’s when those results come through at 5pm that football supporters up and down League Two will look and go wow, Carlisle are there and mean business.

“That’s what we’ve got to do. There’s been many years where nobody worried about Carlisle United at the top end of the league. We’ve got to make sure we’re still doing it properly, going about our business right. If we do that I think we’ve got enough qualities to make a real good game of it this weekend. 

“Competing with teams at the top end is where everybody wants to be. If we’d had a poor start to the season I don’t think we’d have had the positive swell of support we’ve had so far.

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“The supporters have jumped on board, they can see we’re trying to do things properly. We are still very early into what I see as the job that needs to be done. I just hope we’re able to carry it on.

“We’ve got 26 games, we’ve all enjoyed the first 20 and the league position that goes with that, now we have to make sure we enjoy the next batch and that we're in a good position come the end of the season.”

Looking at how closely matched the stats are for both clubs, he commented: “It’s 90 percent about us and 10 percent about the opposition.

“Our players will know what Northampton are about, we’ll know what threats they are, we’ll know they’ve got somebody in Hoskins who is scoring goals for fun, like Kristian Dennis is.

“They’ve got Pinnock who is a really creative player, like Jordan Gibson is for us. We know they’re solid defensively, like we are.

“It will be a match-up and it’s about how many of our players can come out on top in their own individual battles. That’s the challenge for us this weekend. 

“On Sam Hoskins, I’ll be honest, I didn’t take a lot of notice of him at the start of the season. It was only when somebody was talking about how many goals Kristian Dennis was getting, I was thinking well he must be leading goalscorer, and suddenly I’m told Hoskins is.

“He’s obviously doing really well to be ahead of Denno, who’s had a great start to the season. It tells me he’s doing really well, especially as a wide player.

“The way they play, three front lads are given a bit more in possession than out of possession, he makes really good runs in behind and he’s a quality finisher. He’s one of a few players we need to make sure we get on top of at the weekend, and hopefully that’s the case.”

“And our lads are chomping at the bit,” he commented. “They just want to get out on some grass, that’ll be a novelty for them.

“You want to play football, you want to be playing in matches, you don’t want to be training and doing the stuff we’ve got them doing at the moment.

“Hopefully they’ll get that chance.”

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