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Club News

MANAGER: Injuries are affecting us

Paul Simpson on a depleted squad

26 October 2022

Club News

MANAGER: Injuries are affecting us

Paul Simpson on a depleted squad

26 October 2022

The first half against Stockport on Tuesday night was a disappointing one for the Blues as they misfired against a home team that seemed to sense that they were taking the upper hand.

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Yet another change to personnel was forced on manager Paul Simpson ahead of kick off when he found himself without experienced defender Paul Huntington, which robbed of him the continuity he craves when it comes to team selection across all areas of the pitch.

“Injuries are affecting us,” he admitted. “It affected us on Saturday and it’s the same tonight. It’s a reason, it’s not an excuse, I don’t want to make excuses.

“We looked short against a really good squad of players. I do believe these will be one of the top teams come the end of the season.

“They’re just starting to find their feet, they’re getting results at home and when you look at their bench you see how strong it is. We’re not in that position at the moment. We will be when we get players back, and when more are available, so we’ve just got to dig in and get ourselves through this next little patch.”

“Injuries are part and parcel of football, but it’s there for everybody to see that we’re getting really stretched in the way we’re losing different people at key times,” he added.

“It’s not an excuse, the group we put out should still have been better to start this game than we did. The injuries are not part of that, that’s a mentality to start the game, and we need to look at that, make sure we address it and do something about it.

“I honestly didn’t believe we were as good a side as people were making out when we were winning games and being unbeaten, and I don’t believe we’re a bad side now. What we have to do is get back to a more consistent level to be able to start picking up results again.”

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Having managed a balancing act through what has been an unbelievable spell of bad luck, he told us: “It’s been worrying me for weeks that we were going to get to a point where it was one change too far.

“I’ve had to try and think of ways to get us through it. I haven’t been able to come up with a solution for it against Stockport, unfortunately.

“I need to find a solution for it on Saturday, now without Jordan GIbson. We need to try and get a group that are really committed and we’ve all got to just stick together and work our way through it.”

Fingers are crossed that the experienced defender will be available for that trip to Tranmere.

“It’s a bit early to say,” he said. “He’s got a bit of a thigh strain and he’s obviously disappointed to miss out because he’s had a good run. We’ve just got to see how he is and hope that he’ll be right for Saturday.

“I think I’m right in saying that’s Gibbo’s fifth yellow, so we’ll miss him. The truth is that we can’t afford to be without players. There are too many missing at the moment.

“It makes it a really tough ask for the lads who are left and who are available. We’ll see how Hunts is and we’ll take it from there.

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“It’s not serious, he had a chance for Tuesday, it just wasn’t quite right, so we’ll see how he is in the morning. I thought we missed him, missed his leadership out there.

“That’s not to say Morgan didn’t perform to the best he could and he stuck at it, made some good blocks. I just think Hunts gets players up to a different level as well. 

“Jack Stretton was another that was a balancing act. The truth is he hasn’t trained with the group. He did a fitness test on Tuesday morning, he wasn’t able to train on Monday but said he felt better, so he ran with Ross the physio.

“We wanted to see if there was a reaction, and he came is and there wasn’t, so we did some more work striking a ball, checking, turning, and said he felt ok.

“With that, we’re in a situation where we haven’t got enough bodies available at the moment. I decided to put him on the bench.

“I thought he was good second half, gave us some life and a spark, so that’s a bonus he’s back available for us. But the disappointment is that we get him back then we lose Jordan.”

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That one game suspension comes after his fifth yellow card was picked up at Edgeley Park.

“It’s just very frustrating,” he told us. “I think over the season our discipline has been really good, but the wheels have come off it in the last couple of games. We’ve got to get ourselves back again.

“You aren’t going to win games if you keep getting suspensions. You’re not going to get any level of success. As a group we can’t afford to do it.

“I lose my head at times but then have to nip it in the bud and make sure I don’t get sent off because that’s a bad example to set. Players need to be showing more discipline and not be picking up needless yellow cards.

“We have to be absolutely bob on with our discipline. If you’ve got injuries you can’t afford to have a player suspended for disciplinary reasons. 

“Generally if you pick up five within the timeframe (19 league games) you deserve to have a suspension. He’s got it, I think over the season our discipline has been very good, but tonight, a couple of silly yellow cards, a silly red on Saturday, and it’s costing us, simple as that.

“The injuries are costing us, I thought we looked a bit depleted on Tuesday, and the suspensions will cost us. We have to stick together as a group, we know we’re better than we’ve seen, so we just have to keep going.”

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