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MANAGER: I want people to want to come

Paul Simpson on making sure something builds

4 May 2022

Somewhere close to 1,800 United fans will be at Valley Parade on Saturday for the final game of the season, a level of support that no longer comes as a shock to anyone, and particularly since it was confirmed that manager Paul Simpson would be at the wheel for the next three seasons.

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And Saturday’s home game brought just over 5,600 members of the Blue Army through the gates, adding to the feeling that just possibly something is starting to build.

“It’s what we have to do, that’s the challenge for us,” manager Paul Simpson said. “We’ve got to make sure we build.

“We all know what our supporters can do and the noise they can make, and what we have to do is make sure we keep it.

“We’ve got to keep riding some momentum, and if that’s the players or me who create it, I don’t really mind what that is, we have to keep it going.

“The more people we get through the turnstiles, the better it is and it’ll make us a more successful football club.

“Next season, I don’t want to think staying in the league is a success. It has been this time because of the position we were in, but staying in the division isn’t what we’re in football for.

“I want to be competing in the top half of the table, and if we can get a group of players together who all want to do the same, that’s the first thing.

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“If we then have a group of staff off the pitch in the east stand offices and in the main stand offices who are pulling in the same direction then that will help.

“If we add the help of the supporters and local businesses, then all of a sudden we really have got something going.”

And the number of fans who stayed behind after the Stevenage game to see the players as they came out on the pitch with their families was another reflection of the current positivity levels.

“I hope they realise that the players came out to thank them for their support, it wasn’t just for the fans to see them,” he insisted. “We have to thank them because they pay their money, they turn out in their numbers and I was delighted to see so many stay behind.

“I want them to come back again in numbers next season. Somebody was telling me yesterday that we’ve sold hundreds and hundreds of tickets for Bradford and what an atmosphere we could have there. That’s why we have to make sure we do it properly for them.

“And I saw the flag that’s been made. I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I think it’s probably the first time I’ve had a flag made about me, but it’s brilliant.

“I don’t know what the right words to use are – I’m incredibly proud that somebody has gone out of their way to do that.

“Everybody who made a donation, I can only thank them because the cancer charity that I chose is also getting a donation, which is brilliant.

“Without the work they do in the cancer hospitals, who knows what state I’d be in at this moment in time.”


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