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MANAGER: They're on a run of good form

Paul Simpson on tomorrow's game against Walsall

11 November 2022

Club News

MANAGER: They're on a run of good form

Paul Simpson on tomorrow's game against Walsall

11 November 2022

It’s a second consecutive Saturday home game for the Blues this weekend as mid-table Walsall come to Brunton Park in decent form and looking to continue their rise up the table.

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PREVIEW: Walsall

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“They’re a good side,” manager Paul Simpson said. “I think these are one of the fancied teams in the league this season.

“It’s understandable that they had a sticky patch at the start because I think they must have made about 15 or 16 new signings.

“I think seven of them are starters in the team at this moment, so we know it’s going to be a tough game.

“They’re on a good run of form, I think I saw that it was three wins and a draw, so they’ll make it difficult. We’re a good side as well, we have to remember that.

“If we play with a belief, not an arrogance, but a belief that we can be a good side then we should get a performance that hopefully gets us three points.”

And on what we can expect from the visitors, he told us: “They do have different ways they can do things, but I don’t think any game is easy to prepare for.

“You tend to have an idea about what the opposition is going to do. We prepared for Harrogate the other night thinking that Alex Pattison was going to play, but he had an illness and he was out.

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MATCH DAY INFO: Catering and Fan Zone

11 November 2022

“You don’t really know what you’ll be up against, but they’ve been fairly consistent with the shape that they play. Actually, no they haven’t, because they keep tinkering and sometimes they play two strikers and sometimes it’s one, with a bit of a box in midfield.

“We have to just do what we can do. We have to prepare as well as we can and the players have shown us over and over that if we need to change things during a game they’re capable of doing that for us.

“I don’t ideally want to have to change personnel to do that during a game, but hopefully we pick a shape and side that gets us the momentum.”

United have worked hard to get to the current league position, with every game an opportunity to cement that place.

“Without a doubt, you can only win your own games, we can’t do anything about what’s going on around us, but if we can win, it just keeps them three points away from us,” he told us. “I think these will be a side up at the top of the table come the end of the season, they’ve got a really strong squad.

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MATCH DAY INFO: Sponsors, Flags, contact the SLO

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“They’ve got a few injuries, we won’t see Joe Riley thankfully this weekend, because he’s injured, but they’ve got a strong squad, they’ve assembled a big group of players and they will be expecting to be getting promotion this season with the financial outlay they’ve made.

“It’s a big test, but it’s a game we’re really looking forward to. We know they’ll be coming here confident.

“We’ve got to make sure we take the belief and confidence that we’ve got from our start to the season, to be sat where we are after 17 games is a really good start, and we’ve got to carry it on.”

“Obviously we play them again soon,” he continued. “Since the draw was made, I haven’t even thought about the FA Cup. The only thing I’ve discussed is what our preparation is for it leading up to the game, and when we travel and all that kind of thing.

“I’m only focusing on this one. I think we saw from the two Tranmere games, although we had two positive results, they were different games. Let’s deal with this one properly, then Salford, and then we can look at that.

“Their manager will be thinking the same. He’s not someone I know well. I’ve only come across him a couple of times.

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MATCH DAY INFO: Tickets, e-tickets and visiting fan information

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“In his managerial career I was either really fortunate to be an assistant at a higher level or working at the FA. I haven’t really come across him a hell of a lot.

“He seems a decent guy, he’s definitely assembled a good group and he did a very good job at Newport. I just hope we’re better than them this weekend.”

And having picked up a point on the road in midweek, he said: “I’ve said it many times, if you get a point away from home and win at home it’s a good week. We’ve got to make sure we do it properly at home.

“We’ve had some good results on the road, but to have any sustained challenge, to be successful, you have to make your home form really good.

“We’ve had a couple of little blips at home so we have to get back to it. I think anybody who’s successful has a consistent run of good results. Not just two or three unbeaten, you’ve got to be doing seven or eight on the spin, preferably getting more wins than draws.

“We’re at the start of it, we had a good run then lost again. If we can be unbeaten through November, that’ll be a good sign. The only way you’re going to do it is if the players continue to do what they did on Tuesday and show character.

“When you aren’t playing at you’re best you’re prepared to still do the work, be competitive and try and create opportunities. They did that right through to the end and they got their reward by taking a point, when maybe some people might say we didn’t deserve it.”

With the fans continuing to throw their voice behind the group, he concluded: “They’ve been brilliant, home and away. They’ve responded to the players performing, and the two things go together.

“Players can’t expect fans to come and be happy and cheerful if we’re not doing very well. They’re turning up in their numbers and the support they’re giving us is magnificent.

“I hope we can do enough to get them going again this week and that the players give them something to get behind. We want to give them a performance that makes them want to come back again.”


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