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Club News

MANAGER: The players all deserve an opportunity

Paul Simpson on fine tuning ahead of Saturday

27 July 2022

The last game of pre-season always brings with it the intrigue of how much the manager has shown his hand in terms of the eleven who will take to the pitch for the first game of the season, and it was no different for Carlisle at the Mazuma Stadium with much of the social media chatter after the game pointed towards that very subject.

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“I did say last week that I wasn’t going to try to be clever about team selection, because that’s not what it’s about,” Paul Simpson said. “It’s about us preparing properly.

“I’ve no idea at this stage what Crawley will do, we had somebody watching their game on Saturday, as we had somebody watching them against Hearts the other week.

“We’ll have an idea of what they’re going to do once we get into next week, but I really think that we have to try and focus on what we want and what we’re capable of doing.

“When you look at some of our players you see that there’s ability in that team and we’ve added a little bit of resilience to it as well. There’s a bit of robustness about us and we’ve got to take that into the proper games.”

“Looking to the weekend, there are still a few things to decide,” he confirmed. “Watching the game on Saturday has made it even more difficult, because even the lads who didn’t start came on and were really effective.

“I’m hoping Brennan’s going to get back into training as well, but we’ve just got to wait and see. The players all deserve an opportunity to start.

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“Unfortunately there’s only 11 of them who can, but it’s up to them. And what they’re saying to me is they know this season’s going to be about the whole group together, and we have to stick together, and create the right environment so everybody feels part of it.

“Having that week in Scotland has really helped us do that. There’s a feeling of doing it together, and that comes to the captain’s role as well.

“Anybody can read what they want into Morgan having it on Saturday, I’m not really bothered. I spoke to Callum on Friday and told him that for this game I wanted Morgan to have the armband, and he totally understood.

“There were no cross words or anything, I just said I wanted to have a look at it, to see how people react, and I don’t think there’s been a bad reaction.

“This week I’ll probably have a decision to make because it’s become fairly obvious to me that people outside of myself are bothered about who the captain is.

“I don’t really care as long as they all show leadership, and we’ve seen that in the way they’ve worked, played, organised and talked. Let’s see on Saturday who gets it.”

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