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Club News

MANAGER: It’s fantastic how the fans have been

Paul Simpson on the biggest crowd of the season so far

14 March 2022

United’s largest home crowd of the season showed the same level of resilience as the team on Saturday afternoon as they stayed patient to roar their side on to a dramatic victory.

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The recent change of mood left most of the 8,000 strong contingent with a sense that something was going to happen, even as added time was announced and the score remained at level pegging.

“If you play in a positive way you’ve got every chance of creating something,” manager Paul Simpson said. “Doing it two games in a row, winning that late, it’s character.

“That’s all it is. It’s belief in themselves, holding your nerve and working hard. I think Tobi holding his nerve was key, Callum doing the same to deliver the free kick, all of the first contact players trying to get on the end of it and not fouling, then Jordan, they’ve all shown real character.

“It’s a real level of professionalism to be able to execute all of that at the right time and the biggest one is, of course, Gibbo being able to slot a penalty away in what is a really difficult moment in the game.

“I would have taken the point with the way the game went, and I was actually thinking - let’s make sure we don’t lose. It was about not losing and keeping some momentum.

“It’s just a great feeling that it became a win. We’ve done it late a couple of times now so let’s see if we can keep this going.

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“I was watching Sky on Friday night and I heard that Huddersfield were on a 16-game unbeaten run, and my wife Jacqui said, there you go, that’s what you need to do.

“Maybe we can’t do 16 but let’s go for as long as we can. Let’s hold onto the momentum, let’s stay unbeaten and make it so we aren’t looking over our shoulder.

“I don’t know what the points total is that we’ll need to stay up but we have to finish as high as we can.

“Can we finish in the top half and make it a really successful end to the season - let’s see. If we do it’ll encourage everybody to come back again next year.”

“It’s fantastic how the fans have been,” he commented. “Brilliant for the football club and great for the fans to be able to go home smiling and come out in their numbers.

“What a lovely day for it as well. I was a bit nervous when it was raining but it turned out well. It was a strange one because I thought our supporters were as nervous as we were at the start, but the noise in the second half was incredible.

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“That’s what we need because players respond to that, I know I would have if I was playing, so long may it continue. I hope they come out again and support us on Tuesday, and then the next one again.

“I know they’ll be brilliant at Barrow, but we do need it on Tuesday because it’ll be another tough game. They’re a really good football team and once I leave here I’ll start getting my head on Newport, I might not even watch this one back, because Tuesday is the next one that matters.

“But yeah, the supporters have been brilliant, they’ve rallied round, they’ve got behind us and the players have stepped up because of that.

“It’s a two-fold thing, isn’t it, because everybody expects supporters to come into stadiums and lift the players. Players have to lift them as well.

“I think the way we went about the second half lifted them, because I sensed a bit of a fear in the first half from everybody involved.

“After the break everybody settled into it and got themselves going. It must have been the pie or the Bovril or even the beer that got them going, which is brilliant.

“It was an incredible atmosphere and to get a late winner like that just makes it all a bit special. I’ll certainly enjoy it.”

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