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MANAGER: Of course you miss it

Paul Simpson on what it's like to be back in the technical area

28 February 2022

For Paul Simpson the return to the technical area at Orient brought back the full range of emotions that come with being in charge of a team - with the difference being in this case that he’s taken over a club that is desperately short of confidence as the clock ticks on towards the end of the season.

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“I keep asking myself why I do it when I’m stood on the side of the pitch, I can tell you that!” he joked. “Of course you miss it. You miss the feeling when the goal goes in, the feeling at the final whistle, and all the rest of it that happened in between is a bit of a blur at the moment.

“Maybe when I watch it back again on the coach it might become a little bit clearer, but I want the same kind of thing for 14 more games anyway, let’s say that.

“It’s stressful, but it’s good to be involved in it. I’ll lose some hair and get some more bags under my eyes, but who cares. When you win, it’s all brilliant.”

But did he enjoy it?

“Not at the moment!” he said. “No, I did. I didn’t enjoy it through it. I enjoyed the end when the final whistle went.

“When he told me there was going to be six minutes going up I couldn’t believe that. Thankfully they went quickly and without any disaster.

“That’s a big thing, to be able to grind that out. That’s just finding a way to get a result however you do it, and our players did that.”

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And the extremely important first impressions?

“My first impression is we’re in a scrap, simple as that,” he responded. “There’s no kidding it. I’m not going to flower it up, we’re in a relegation battle and we have to make sure between now and May we win the fight we have in this little mini-league we’ve got at the bottom of the table.

“We’ve got to come out on top of it, or make sure we’re not in the bottom two of it. As a manager you always want that first win, we hadn’t won in eight games, so we’ve got that off our back and we just need to keep it going.

“I haven’t looked at any other results because I always think that if you do your job right then things take care of themselves. We’ve done it right, we’ve got the three points, everybody stuck together as a group, and we move onto the next one.

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“As long as we’re out of the bottom two at that last game of the season then that’s the only thing that matters.”

The game was obviously a first opportunity to run the rule over his new charges, and to see them in action up close and personal for the first time.

“Again to be honest, I don’t know what I’ve learned about them just yet,” he said. “I need to digest it all, step back, and watch it again.

“What I can say I suppose is that I’ve learned that they’re prepared to fight for the team, which is massive.

“Something else I said to them is that I think there’s more ability in that group than the table shows, so I’ve seen that. I still think there should be more to come and I’m looking forward to seeing that.”


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