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MANAGER: It's about results

More from Paul Simpson following the Orient away win

27 February 2022

If there’s a football script, it was certainly followed on Saturday afternoon when the return of manager Paul Simpson to the helm of his hometown club brought a wave of positivity and, even more importantly, an end to an eight-game winless run courtesy of a battling performance in front of exactly 700 away fans.

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Orient

26 February 2022

The Blues didn’t get it all their own way, but they defended from the front and with tenacity, and the desire to see the game through was there for all to see, with the whole squad coming together after the final whistle for a huddle adjacent to the sizeable and raucous visiting support.

Results elsewhere meant that the Cumbrians stepped out of the dreaded drop zone, with six teams now within three points of each other, but the new boss insisted that was the least of his concerns with still 14 games left to play.

“I’m not bothered about being out of the bottom two at the moment,” he said. “It’s a winning start and that’s the big thing.

“It’s about results, not anything else at the moment, and the character and desire to defend was just absolutely outstanding.

“I don’t know if that’s different from what’s been going on before, and I just keep saying that I don’t care about that.

“The 31 games before this are important because they’ve put us into the position we’re in, but it’s the 15 games - 14 now - that matter at the moment.

“I always say in terms of the league season that I never look at the table through the first ten because it’s the last ten that really matter anyway.

“We’ve got to make sure our last ten are really good, and if they show this type of desire and determination then we’ll be ok.”

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Having only had two days of training ahead of the fixture, it was never going to be easy to get the complete performance, but the signs of improvement were clear as the team fought it’s way to a points winning conclusion.

“I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t get everything I asked for, but we’ve got more work to do to help us with that,” he confirmed. “I still think we can be much better and that we can be much more composed when we defend, and with the clearances we make.

“We can be more in control of games by being better when we get ourselves into good positions, and with the stuff we do in the final third. Hopefully that will come.

“A big thing we have to consider is that as a footballer it’s a really difficult week when your manager goes. Keith [Millen] is a really good man, so some players will be shocked.

“I said to them that if they wanted to put on a performance for Keith, I wouldn’t care. Whatever their motivation was they defended for their lives, and they got us the result we all wanted.”

In a game where confidence has been low in both camps the first goal is always vital.

“Wow, what a feeling that was when it went in,” he admitted. “I thought the two strikers were outstanding, they really were, and I won’t pick out individuals but some of the performances were excellent.

“To see Omari stick that one in the back of the net was brilliant. I’m going to be picky though, I think we should have had more goals.

“Maybe that’s just the sort of mental state they’re in because of what the last week has been and what the last eight games have been, I don’t really know. Let’s just hope we can build on the feeling we got at the end.”

Continuing that theme of being picky, we wondered if there was a sense of disappointment at not having killed the game off.

“We certainly could have, without a doubt,” he agreed. “We could have made it easier for ourselves if we were a little bit more clinical, and more composed with the final ball.

“We can’t be negative about that because the players have worked extremely hard to go and get that result. The staff who have helped me this week – Colin with the kit, Greg the fitness man, Jacob the analyst and Gav – this has been tough, so it’s a brilliant feeling for them as well.

“Things like this have to start bringing us together, it has to be that way. I’m repeating what I’ve said to the players, but team spirit doesn’t come by going out and drinking together, or going bowling, or any of that.

“It comes from winning games and grinding things out. We’ve ground that one out. I don’t care if it’s pretty. If it’s nice - brilliant, but if it isn’t, let’s take it. We have to find ways to get results. They’ve done that, they’ve found a way, and that’s all we ask for.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Paul Simpson on iFollow United now.

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