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MANAGER: I wanted a discussion with the players that wasn't with me

Paul Simpson on a different type of session for the lads

29 July 2022

United’s week away in Largs brought with it a very good session with mentor and coach Mark Francis, who took over for the afternoon on the Thursday of the week with some intriguing work with the players.

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“The week away was really important in terms of the training, and the game against Livingston was good for us and really competitive,” Paul Simpson commented. “There was a real togetherness about the group and we also brought a guy called Mark Francis up for a day.

“We had a Carlisle United fan get in touch and offer to bring this mental coach in to work with the players, and he would fund it.

“We flew him in from Switzerland and he did an afternoon with the players before they fed back to us.

“I wanted somebody to facilitate a discussion with the players that wasn’t me, somebody outside of our coaching staff, where they would open up a little bit.

“They talked about their aspirations for the season and what they felt they could achieve. He then turned it round and said if that’s what they think they can do, how are they going to do it day in day out, and week in week out, to achieve it.

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29 July 2022

“It was brilliant to hear how the players then fed it back to us as a group of staff when we went in.”

“Mark also sat with us, as staff, to talk about what we need to do as a group of staff to make that happen, and how we need to keep driving standards,” he continued. “That’s something I’ve been really keen on from the first day I walked in.

“I want the staff to drive the standards and the players to really buy into it and do it as well.

“Now we’ve got players who are going to drive the standards, and we’ve got to make sure as coaches that we keep doing it as well.

“That was a really valuable experience for them, and good learning, and hopefully over the year we may tap into Mark again, but hopefully the players have given themselves something to hold onto and something they can work to each day.”

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