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Club News

MANAGER: He only found out when he got on the coach

Paul Simpson on being ready to step up

1 November 2022

Club News

MANAGER: He only found out when he got on the coach

Paul Simpson on being ready to step up

1 November 2022

The 18 players who made it onto the weekend teamsheet were the 18 players available, with Fin Back having pulled out on the day of the game due to illness.


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But one thing we’ve seen this season is that it’s a squad full of ability and determination - not a bad mix at all, all things considered.

With Back having completed the Friday session, albeit reporting that he was starting to feel a tad under the weather, it meant that Jack Ellis climbed onto the bus fully expecting to be warming up with the subs later that day.

“When you come into any game as a coach or manager you’re always thinking about how it’s going to go,” Paul Simpson said. “Even more for us after the little run we’ve just been on.

“The last thing we said after the Friday session was that this game was about mentality. We had to have the right mentality to come here, roll our sleeves up, work hard, compete, win first contact, then second balls, and I knew if we did that our quality would shine through.

“Take Jack Ellis, he only found out he was starting when we got on the coach. We did all of the prep on Friday with Fin Back playing, but he was struggling a little bit with not feeling great.

“He thought he’d be ok, but that’s how Fin is, that’s his reaction to any sort of ailment. Just after 7am on Saturday morning I got a call telling me that he’d deteriorated overnight and he was properly struggling.

“He had to rule himself out and when Fin Back tells you he’s not feeling the best you know he’s not coming, because he generally just wants to get on with it.”

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“When Jack got on the bus I asked him if he was ready, and he asked me why,” he added. “I told him he was starting and that he had to make sure he was right, and I thought he was excellent.

“One of their threats was the amount of crosses they get into the box, but he worked so hard to deal with that. I’m really pleased with him and with everybody, to be honest.

“With Jack, I know I can trust him. As soon as I heard Fin wasn’t well, I had no hesitation in making that decision. It’s not that we had loads and loads of options, but there was no hesitation.

“On our way down here it was right, ok, let’s deal with it. I said to Paul Gerrard and Gav Skelton, change your set plays, Jack Ellis comes straight in for Fin Back, whatever roles he had, put Jack straight into it.

“He did his job. The good thing for me is it shows he’s listening on a Friday even if he’s not involved, and that’s brilliant.”

In the middle of the park was Taylor Charters, making his first league start of the season, his first since Newport away in October last year, and he didn’t put a foot out of place as he also slotted in to do a job.

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“Without a doubt he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” he agreed. “He’s waited patiently. He had an injury, which took a while to get over, but he’s kept doing the right things and performing properly in training.

“His opportunity comes because of a suspension. When you get these opportunities you have to take it. He gave us balance with his left foot, a desire to close people down, competed for headers.

“Look, the truth is, we have to see him. We’ve got to see what he’s like. There’s no point me giving him a contract and not putting him in the team when an opportunity arises.

“He’s trained really well, earned an opportunity. I felt it was the perfect opportunity to use him and he certainly hasn’t done himself any harm with how he did it.

“He’s a young player who’s played quite a number of games. In terms of the 18 we had out, you’ve got Jack Ellis just 19, Nic and Ryan who will both play in the youth team on Tuesday, so it’s a really young group that we’ve got available at the moment.

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“Taylor is probably classed as an experienced player today because of his number of games, and he played like an experienced player. He knew the role, did the role well and hopefully it’s the first of many good performances.”

“Coming into a team is a chance to stay there as well,” he continued. “Corey Whelan came in at Newport and took his opportunity and stayed in for I think seven games.

“I felt it was time for Morgan Feeney to come back. Morgan, Hunts and Jon were outstanding, Jack Ellis too, and we had so many good performances that earned us a victory.

“People will talk about Kristian’s goals, Jack’s assists, but the way we’ve defended has been outstanding. We’ve got players who are adaptable, who prepare properly.

“I said earlier, this is just one result, I want to be in the second round of the FA Cup, so we have to be right again next weekend.”

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