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Interviews

MANAGER: We need to keep striving for better things

Paul Simpson on 2022 and the transfer window

31 December 2022

Interviews

MANAGER: We need to keep striving for better things

Paul Simpson on 2022 and the transfer window

31 December 2022

Despite the fact that United currently sit fourth in the table, having been in a desperate situation when manager Paul Simpson returned to the club 44 games ago, the man currently in the hotseat continues to insist that there has to be more to come as we head into the second half of the season.

“It’s been a brilliant year,” he said. “I look at them all as one, to be honest, and I still think it’s amazing to still be involved in the game at the age of 56 after starting all those years ago when I was just 15.

“I actually did my first two or three weeks without being paid because of my age, so it is really good to still be doing it.

“When you get any level of success, whatever that might be – and last year’s for us was us staying up – and this year it’s the fact that we finish 2022 in fourth place.

“Overall it’s been a brilliant effort from everybody at the club and it all makes my life so much better.”

“It’s been good, but there are 23 games to go and I still want much more going forward,” he continued. “I want the players to want more, and I don’t want us to start thinking that it’s been ok. We need to keep pushing and driving on.

“Football has a horrible habit of biting you on the bum if you think you can take your foot off the gas or start taking things for granted.

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Doncaster

31 December 2022

“We can’t do that. We need to keep striving for better things by improving the group, the players who are here, the club and the environment we’re all working in.

“Hopefully with what we’ve done so far it gives us a stronger platform to push from and we go on to achieve what we all want to achieve.

“We spoke the other day about clean sheets, and after the game last night Orient now have 15. We’re on nine, and I want us to try to catch that.

“There has to be a determination to be better in everything we do. That isn’t just in football, it’s life. I don’t mean be bitter and angry and always want what the Jones’s have got next door, it’s about trying to make yourself better for all the right reasons.

“That’s where we are as a football club. What we have in this group of players and staff are people who all want on be successful and try to achieve something, hopefully together.

“There’s no update from where we were on Thursday night,” he said. “The only thing I can say is that because of what happened with injuries this week it means we’ve got another problem to think about.

“We’re still working to try to get deals across the line as soon as we possibly can and, with the situation with injuries as it is, we’re going to need some reinforcements to come and help us.”

Looking at the three lads out on loan, he told us: “Sam Fishburn is with Morpeth for the season anyway and I don’t see that changing.

“I think both Lewis Bell [Gretna] and Max Kilsby [Annan] will stay where they are. I’ve had a conversation with Max and I know that Annan want him to keep him, so I would expect that to happen.

“Everybody is in agreement with Lewis that he can stay with Gretna, so I think it’s just a case of getting the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed, so those three should all stay out for the season.

“We’ll continue to monitor them, not only in the games but with the fact that they come in and train with us every day, when they aren’t tied into the fixture schedule with their clubs. We’re seeing them and we’re aware of how they’re doing, so it’s in everybody’s best interests for them to keep doing what they’re doing.”

On how quickly he expects to make additions over the coming weeks, he commented: “I’d like to think we’re going to have at least one before Newport.

“In the ideal world, and if you’d asked me that last week I’d probably have said that we were going to have three in by that stage.

“Things have changed on that now and I don’t think that will be the case. I’m very optimistic that we’re going to get one in as soon as the window opens, and then we’ll keep working to get others tied down as well.

“What I don’t want is to be in a position where come deadline day we’re not thrashing around and frantically checking whether paperwork has gone through or not. I don’t like that.

“I want to be in a bit of a better position and hopefully that’ll be the case.”


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