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MANAGER: It shows the importance of being ready

Paul Simpson on the Feeney/Whelan switch just before kick-off

24 September 2022

Club News

MANAGER: It shows the importance of being ready

Paul Simpson on the Feeney/Whelan switch just before kick-off

24 September 2022

United’s pre-match preparations took a real knock when defender Morgan Feeney indicated that things with his hamstring ‘just didn’t feel right’ and a last-minute reshuffle was required, as Corey Whelan was called into the fray to deputise as both captain and at the heart of the back line.

Match Reports


24 September 2022

Speaking after the game, manager Paul Simpson said: “It’s a massive blow to lose Morgan before we kick off, but thankfully we’ve got Corey Whelan who is up to speed and he stepped straight into it.

“Morgan went to open up in the warm-up and felt something in his hamstring, and we don’t actually think it’s bad. He said that he was concerned that if he had to open up in a game it might just make it worse.

“I’m hoping it was an over-precautionary move to take him out of it, but thankfully Corey is ready and he’s been really good for me since the first day of pre-season. I had no hesitation to stick him in, and he gets his reward.”

“Morgan doesn’t think he’s torn it but he just felt a spasm,” he added. “A little bit similar to what Omari felt in the game last Tuesday.

“He wasn’t confident so we took him out of it. We’re not prepared to take risks like that and we’ll assess him in the next couple of days.

“That’s the same for both of them. Omari was very close to being right but we just felt it was too much of a gamble to take him.

“I talked about leaving it as long as possible but because of the seven-hour journey, I actually expected it to be nine or ten, I felt it wasn’t the right thing for him to sit on that coach for that length of time and then go and play.

“He’s confident he’ll be right for Tuesday, so fingers crossed he’s had a good weekend and is ready. He said on Friday that he’d done some work in the gym just before we were leaving and he feels confident that all is better.

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“I think he’s doing some straight line running back in Carlisle today and we’ll see how he is tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll be able to train on Monday with a view to being involved on Tuesday.

“I need to see him do a full session before I consider him for Grimsby, and that’s the same with Morgan. We won’t be taking chances with either of them because, when it comes to hamstrings, taking chances isn’t something you can do.

“If you lose them with a serious one you’re talking eight to twelve weeks. We can’t afford to be without players just for the sake of taking a risk, we’ve already got enough on our plate with the likes of Edmo, Ben Barclay and Omari, so we just need these guys fit

"From today I think Sonny rolled his ankle a bit, but I'm sure he'll be fine."

For Corey Whelan, it was appearance number 50 for the club, with his first goal for the Blues earning the share of the spoils.

“It was a good finish from Corey and we nearly had another when Hunts hit the bar,” the manager told us. “When he first struck it I thought it was sailing over and then it seemed to dip and it looked like it was going in.

“Maybe one day one will hit the underside and go over the line for us. I would have gladly taken three points but I’m not sure we’d have thoroughly deserved it if we had.

“Corey’s first goal, is that another one who has done that? I didn’t know that. It was a good finish, a really good finish when the ball is bobbling about.

“I thought we had opportunities in the first half where we probably should have done better, but other than getting the goal I don’t think we tested their keeper at all.

“We got into some great positions in the first half and we didn’t execute that final thing, be it a shot or a pass, but I suppose that was the story of that 45 minutes.

“It’s brilliant for Corey, I’m pleased for him. That’s good value for him because he does things right. Even when he’s not in the side he does things properly, he’s a good pro the way he goes about it.

“As soon as I was told Morgan had a problem, it’s a straight swap. Corey in, and I think he handles that armband well as well. It shows the value of being ready. You’re not a sub, just making up the numbers, you’re a finisher.

“He’s had to come and suddenly take his finisher hat off and be a starter for us. He’s showed he was ready for it. He was composed, him and Hunts and Jon Mellish dealt with the threat of Evans and Bogle up there. I’m really pleased with Corey, really pleased.” 

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