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Club News

MANAGER: Some big moments in the game

More from Paul Simpson on Saturday's win

16 October 2022

As the Blues took control of the game on Saturday afternoon, and got the goals to go with it, it started to feel like one of those rare afternoons in football where you can relax and simply enjoy the fayre on show.

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But manager Paul Simpson was typically reserved, although still clearly delighted with the performance, when we suggested that it had been the same for him in that technical area.

“Relax, is that the right word?” he responded. “I don’t really know that it is. I don’t think it felt relaxed, but I am really pleased. I’m absolutely delighted with the way they went about it.

“I thought we had good control in the game against a good side. From start to finish I thought we played some good football, better football than we have done over recent weeks.

“We scored good goals and kept a clean sheet, and I said to the players that I think that when Doncaster click, they’re going to be a good side, but I wanted them to make sure that we didn’t let it happen against us.

“I said to them, don’t allow them to become a good side. I don’t think we did, we largely controlled it.

“There were some big moments in the game, with one in the first half when Tomas Holy made his save, which was actually the only save he had to make. He took a couple of crosses, but the save to keep it at 0-0 is a big moment, and it was from there that we started to take a grip of things.

“We got a great finish from Callum Guy, and it was really good from Ryan Edmondson to go and be positive and keep running forward. I keep talking about running forward, playing forward and thinking forward, and Edmo did that for us.

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“There are so many good things to come out of it, and they all came together to give us a really good victory.”

“By the way, what a magnificent crowd,” he continued. “5,600 here on a day like this, where the weather was awful. I stand in the directors’ box to watch the warm-up and the heavens opened, and I had to go outside to go up to the Sponsor’s Lounge to meet some people from Aqua Pura, and I got rained on there as well.

“I was thinking, please stop, I don’t want to wet my new coat when I’m on the touchline, and thankfully it did stop for most of the game. It’s turned into a brilliant day, a really big day, and it keeps us ticking along.”

The chat from the fans online and just after the final whistle had blown was that it had been the best 90-minute performance of the season so far, with every player playing their part in equal measure.

“It was a team day,” he agreed. “When you win games like that there’s not a lot you can say to them afterwards.

“Another good thing from it was that we had to make a little adjustment with our shape because Adam Clayton was getting on the ball too much for my liking.

Match Reports


15 October 2022

“We pushed Jordan Gibson closer to him to try to stop that from happening, and we went with two up top at that point. It worked, and we managed to get a foothold in the game by getting that goal from Callum.

“It’s probably something that we haven’t done enough this season when we’ve been on top. We haven’t always gone on and got the goal, so it was pleasing that we did.

“It came from some good play because we’ve talked about working forward in support of each other so many times. Owen Moxon took up a really good position to help Ryan, and he rolled it back for Owen to play the ball onwards to Callum.

“It was such a clinical finish because he put it right in the corner. It was similar to what we said about Mox at Hartlepool, it’s placed so well, and it gave us something to go into half-time with.

“The message during the break, and this was from the players before I even spoke, was not to settle for 1-0. We spoke about the fact that we couldn’t sit back, we had to stay on the front foot, and we had to keep taking the game to them.

“Thankfully we did that with the second goal. That comes from a brilliant tackle from Jon Mellish, where he intercepted it, and it was a superb ball from Jordan Gibson that slid us through.”


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The result, of course, handed the Blues their first back-to-back victories of the season, following on from the excellent second-half display at Hartlepool last weekend.

“I wanted that,” he admitted. “I was really disappointed after the Crewe game when we didn’t win that because I really did think we had a chance of going three games with three wins.

“Then you can look at four and going on a real run. By not winning at home against Crewe we lost that chance. It’s a big thing that, if you can get two or three, or four, it’s how you build real momentum.

“And being at the top end is where we want to be. I think whatever level you play at, it’s always a challenge to try and find consistency, and I still think we’re striving to be consistent.

“We are picking up results, but we’re not quite there with the levels that we want to see … and that I’ll be happy with, but people who know me will know that I’m never going to be happy when it comes to football.

“The truth is, there are so many things you can improve on all the time. This was good, but we’ll keep driving the standards and the professionalism about them, and if we can do that we have a chance of keeping a good run going.”

“But I’m not being negative, there are so many good things to come out of the game,” he added. “I keep saying it, and the big challenge now is to keep it going for as long as possible.

“I’m not for records, but whoever it was who told me on Thursday that it could be nine unbeaten, I know that hasn’t been done for a long time.

“What I want now is for it to be 10 unbeaten, then 11, and keep it going. Going back to the point abut players coming in, Ryan has put an incredible shift in, he really has, and I thought he deserved a goal.

“I don’t know why he did that with his penalty because I watched him practicing on Friday and he was going in the other corner or he was going high and putting it in the roof of the net.

“He was emphatic in the way he smashed them in and Mick Kelly wasn’t able to get near them. He's beating himself up in the dressing room about it.

“But it’s a big win for us and it takes us nicely into the next one. I’m really pleased with Jordan Gibson, he’s one who gets real grief off me, but he worked really hard.

“He got two assists, and he could maybe have had his own goal. He’s raging because he’s our penalty taker and he might well have been the one to take that, but I’d subbed him.

“I took him off because I felt he deserved an ovation from the supporters. All of them have just got to keep going for another 33 games.”

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