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MANAGER: The players have been brilliant

Paul Simpson on an amazing ten days

7 March 2022

Just ten days into his second stint with the Blues it must have been impossible for Paul Simpson to have even begun to imagine a better start, as he now sits here - heading into a full week of training - with maximum points from the three games played.

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But, in the true spirit of taking everything in your stride, he said: “Not at all, I don’t think I really imagined much, to be honest.

“I really didn’t know what I was coming into, I had no idea, I just thought let’s give it a go and see if we can help just by having a change.

“I have to say, the players have been brilliant. Football’s about players, it isn’t about coaches and managers. We play our part and we enjoy the ride with them.

“They’ve gone out and done absolutely magnificent to get nine points out of those three games. 

“When you’re losing games it’s the first thing the supporters question, the character of the players and their attitude.

“I think they’ve shown character on Saturday and all week to be honest. When you lose a manager, and a manager who is a decent bloke, I’m sure a lot of the players were close to him, it does affect you, it rocks you a little bit.

“It’s one of them, you have to move on unfortunately. Everybody knows, when you’re a manager or coach, you know you’re going lose your job at some point. The players have to deal with it.

“For some of them it might be the first time they’ve had to deal with it, but they’ve shown a real mettle to be able to come through it - and come through it like this.”

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For the first time under the new boss they had to deal with going behind, with the goal coming at a horrible time when former Blue Hallam Hope netted from close range deep into time added on for the first period.

“That in itself shows character, that they’ve got a desire to do the things right, put things right, that they’ve got a willingness to work, scrap and fight,” he commented. “We’ve shown that in abundance over the three games that they’re prepared to do that.

“It’s a really good base to have if you’ve got that work ethic, that running around. The football was a little bit better but hopefully we can build and make it even better.

“I am being honest when I tell you I would have taken a point from this one. I didn’t say that to the players, I actually felt we could win the game if we were right, but we weren’t very good first half.

“I didn’t think we dealt with it particularly well, but apart from just a few seconds on the stroke of half-time we stayed in the game, we were getting ourselves through, but they scored and that’s life.

“I got the lads in and said let’s just go and be a bit more front-foot, play forward and run forward, and be positive. They did that. We had some really good chances, a couple of little skirmishes from set-plays, but overall I’m just delighted with the attitude and commitment the players have shown.

“When you’re at the bottom of the league it’s easy to label that they’ve got no work ethic and aren’t committed. The lads in there are committed. They weren’t happy with the way the league table was.

“They’ve shown they’ve got a bit of spirit about them and we’ve got to have a bit more of the same for 12 more games.”

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

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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