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Club News

MANAGER: We all want and expect more

Paul Simpson on getting back to our best

3 October 2022

Club News

MANAGER: We all want and expect more

Paul Simpson on getting back to our best

3 October 2022

A sign of the standards that have been set by the coaching staff and players this season was the reaction from within the dressing room to the point gained against Crewe on Saturday afternoon.

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“It does show that we all want more and expect more,” manager Paul Simpson agreed. “If you want to stay in those top places you know you have to win these ones. That’s a big thing.

“We’ve had a good start, and I said this on Thursday, if I’d been offered this in July I’d have taken it, in fact I’d have snapped your hands off. I just think that with the way we’ve gone about the first ten games, we all want more now.

“They’ve not all been brilliant, I’m not saying we’ve been absolutely outstanding, but I think we’re scratching the surface of being a decent side. In game 11 we haven’t done it at all, all of us, and we’ll have to go away and look at it.

“I’ll have to see and wonder whether I should have changed it, could I have put some fresh legs into it. I thought that the lads who played on Tuesday deserved to go again. Maybe I’ve got to learn from that.”

Despite the lack of goalmouth action it never really felt like a game that was going to be lost.

“It wasn’t like that for me in the dugout,” he insisted. “I was stood there thinking that if we didn’t get our fingers out we were going to lose it. That would then have been a proper problem for us.

“In the first half the wind that was there affected our quality on the ball. We kept putting things in the air and it was blowing back, and it’s hard to get going when that happens.

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“In the second half there’s no excuse. We simply didn’t string the passes together and we didn’t create chances. That’s when we looked lacking in the energy we’ve seen over the first part of the season so far. We need to get it back for next week.

“I suppose you can look at it that we’ve now got another point on the board. I’m asking supporters to come in and we have to entertain them when they do.

“The one thing I would say is that through the last 15 minutes the crowd were trying to give us the spark, they were brilliant. Sadly we just weren’t able to feed off it. I thought, we looked leggy and lethargic.

“I have to look at my team selection, but having said that, even when we made the changes in shape and personnel it still didn’t inject anything into it. It’s gone, we have to move on, we’re ninth in the table, so we focus on improving on that.”

“I’m delighted with the players, they’ve worked so hard for us so far this season,” he continued. “We just need them to start showing more leadership and spark in games.

“We need to start more games like we did at Grimsby and we need to keep building on what we’ve done. We’re in a good position but we can make it a very good position if we keep building.

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“With a performance like this one, you can’t sense it coming, that’s the problem. We expected a bit of tiredness, but if we’d been even a little bit brighter it’s one we could have won.

“Hunts led really well at the back, him and Corey tried to lead us, we just didn’t have that life going forward. Players who normally produce something, a spark, it didn’t come.

“We didn’t even get the chances where you look and think we were unlucky not to have scored. There’s not many games this season where I can say we haven’t created chances. I wish I could give a reason, but that would be excuses. We just weren’t at it.”

Was it down to mental as well as physical tiredness?

“It’s hard to gauge whether anybody’s tired mentally,” he said. “We don’t have a GPS system to do that. But we’ll certainly be able to see whether it was tiredness on the physical side of it.

“From my eye watching it, I think we’ve worked hard, but we gauge ourselves on high speed running and very high speed running, and I think those numbers will be very low.

“Whether that’s because mentally they weren’t sharp enough to do it or not physically able to do it, I don’t know. We were certainly lacking in it, and that’s the big disappointment.

“And another thing we keep saying is that we know we have players who can affect things positively for us. To be honest, we do have game changers.

“Jay Harris can change games with his energy and legs to get up and down, Omari can change things. Over recent weeks I’ve changed and gone 4-3-3 putting Mells in midfield, and he can run like the wind and carries on running.

“We can go through everybody. Jack Armer and Fin Back have been really positive, Owen Moxon’s passing has been outstanding so far. Jordan Gibson is such a good footballer on his day.

“On Saturday it didn’t quite happen for any of them. When you’ve got that many players who are not quite at it, the game becomes a slog.”


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