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MANAGER: We'll keep pushing to make things better

Paul Simpson on the months ahead

5 May 2022

A constant theme from new boss Paul Simpson through his press conferences and public engagements has been a desire to see improvement in every area of the club, with the message ‘let’s get better’ becoming something of a mantra.

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And he repeated the rallying call after the last home game of the season, when he talked about the important months ahead.

“I’m not one for making bold statements about where we will be, but the one thing I will say is that I want us to be better,” he commented. “I want the whole club to be better.

“There is so much scope for improvement in every area, and it’s up to myself and Nigel Clibbens to work together to try and make things better on and off the pitch.

“The supporters will turn out in their numbers if we get a product out there that makes it entertaining, we know that.

“I’m comfortable with taking on the challenge because I’m absolutely thrilled to be here. People keep talking about a three-year contract but all I’m thinking about is long-term.

“I want this club to be better and I want next season to be better. I don’t know where better will be, but I want it to happen. If we can do that, we can keep building all the time.

“I’m not saying that to try to protect myself, or to get longer in the job, it’s simply the case that this isn’t going to suddenly change overnight.”

Revolution, perhaps even just evolution, requires commitment, and he also confirmed that another house move is imminent as he throws himself into the job.

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“I want to be here through all of the steady improvements we’re about to make,” he said. “My house is on the market, I’ve found somewhere up here where I want to live, and I am preparing to be here lock, stock and barrel.

“I just hope somebody is interested in buying my house! We want to be up here, and we just need to do the other side of it and get that one sold.

“It probably won’t happen before pre-season and I’m thankful that I’ve got a friend who is letting us rent up here.

“I think if we are going to get this done we’ve got to be here and be a real part of it. I’ve come in here with real hope.

“One of the main things I learned from working with Steve McLaren was the need to be positive and to be continually giving out positive messages. That’s what I’ve tried to do.

“I know we’ll face some tough times and some disappointments, but what we have to make sure is that the bumps in the road are few and far between, because there are a lot of positive things going on.

“That’s offices, on the grass, sponsors, supporters, everything. I want it to be a really good place to come for everyone.”

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“What we’ve got to be prepared for on the pitch is that we can’t make a massive revolution in one transfer window, we’ve got to do all of this steadily,” he added “We need to be better when we start the season at the end of July, and then we have to strive to continue that improvement.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself and the job I do and the big thing is that it’s not about just sticking your tracksuit on and having a watch and a whistle.

“What I want to do now is make sure I’m even better and put into practice the things I’ve learned and hopefully make this club better. 

“I try to be positive, to be friendly, to have an empathy with what the players are going through, sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s not, that’s what I’ll continue to do for the next three years and maybe even more.”

It certainly feels like the changes could be dramatic, but he spoke about more of a long-term approach to the tasks that lie ahead.

“I think what I’ve realised is I can’t do it all on my own,” he said. “That’s why I’m trying to assemble a group of experienced staff.

“I think I handle my work and my life balance much better than I did the last time. I think I’m a bit calmer, certainly greyer and fatter than I used to be, but that’s life.

“When the meetings with the players go ahead a week on Monday, I certainly have to be ready for it.

“I’m quite sure there’ll be lots of discussions with the staff, I’m quite sure myself and Nigel Clibbens will spent lots of time talking together and putting plans in place.

“None of the decisions I make will be personal against anybody, I’ll be making decisions for what I believe will be the benefit of the club to move us forward and make us better, and I hope I get as many of them right as possible.”

“I keep saying it, but it’s all about making everything better,” he concluded. “I want to make the environment off the pitch better, and I want the group on the pitch to be stronger.

“I said after the game that Saturday is as good as we’ve played, but there are still so many areas that need to be better.

“In this league if we can get every player to try to increase their level of professionalism and performance by another four or five per cent, which isn’t a lot, and you add that up in a group of 20, you’ve got a big improvement.

“That’s what we’ve got to strive to do and that’s what the job is for me and my staff to get from our players, whoever they happen to be. We’ll make sure we keep pushing them to try to make things better.”


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