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MANAGER: They think it's ok

Paul Simpson on training this week and on the prospects of the weekend game being on

14 December 2022

Club News

MANAGER: They think it's ok

Paul Simpson on training this week and on the prospects of the weekend game being on

14 December 2022

It’s probably fair to say that the temperatures have dropped even further since Saturday’s match postponement, with the prolonged cold snap making the planning of training sessions ‘interesting’ to say the least.


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Known for taking things in his stride, even manager Paul Simpson had a wry smile on his face when he asked how the had gone so far.

“It’s been chaos,” he commented. “It’s not ideal if we’re being really honest, it’s not a great situation, but it is what it is.

“We haven’t been able to do the work that I would have really wanted to do, particularly today [Wednesday].

“The way we’d planned the week was that we were going to do some pitch work this morning, but when we got up to Harraby it was frozen solid.

“We manage, as we always do, and I’ve hammered it home with the players that we need to be ready for a big game and we need to make the best of it.

“That’s what we’ve done, we’ve trained, so the players will be ready, even though we didn’t get to do all of the work we wanted to do.

“I’ve had weeks in training in previous years where we’ve been brilliant through the week and rubbish on a Saturday, and I’ve had weeks where it’s felt everything has been hopeless but we’ve then been fantastic and won it at a canter.

“These things just fall into place if you do everything right. We have to make sure that at Northampton on Saturday we’re ready for what is a good team.”


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But does an enforced spell without a game affect fitness in any way?

“All of the players are ok fitness wise,” he told us. “We’ve obviously got players who are just returning from injury, but that tends to be the case in any squad.

“When we found out that the game was off last Friday we gave all of the lads a proper physical session.

“We got them in again on Saturday morning and we had another physical session, and on Monday we were able to do a gym-based session on the spinning bikes, and that’s a great fitness session to do.

“We were at Harraby on Tuesday and that was a good session, but when it’s freezing cold you have to do what you can do. This is just football we’re talking about.

“It may seem like a problem, but a real problem is when you’re sitting at home and you can’t heat your house. And it’s a problem for those families in Solihull who have lost kids in a frozen lake. What we’re dealing with is nothing compared to any of that.”

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On the prospects for the weekend trip to Sixfields, he said: “Our fingers are crossed at the moment. We certainly don’t want another weekend of no game.

“From what I’ve been told they think it’s ok, and Sarah McKnight spoke to their secretary and they think it’s going ahead.

“I said to the players on Monday that they didn’t need to think about anything else. Forget the weather, because the preparation has to be for the game to be on.

“Until we’re told any different that’s how it has to be. That means it’s full steam ahead in terms of the work we’re doing to make sure that we’re absolutely right.

“Whatever training we do, it’s irrelevant, it’s about going into this game at the weekend fully prepared so that we’re fully confident and ready to do what we need to do.

“We’ll train where we have to as we get ready for it because you have to be adaptable. This is real life in first-team football.

“I remember when I was doing my A licence I was due to do an 11v11 session, then I started to get calls from people telling me they were stuck in traffic on the M62 coming from Liverpool. I then get a call to say the pitch is flooded, so you’re scrambling around.

“It knocks you, but then you adapt your session. It’s the same for us, we have what we have here, but if somebody out there has a piece of land and wants to build us an indoor dome, preferably full size, please give us a call. It’ll come in very handy for us.”

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