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Club News

MANAGER: It's a big win

More from Paul Simpson on the Grimsby game

28 September 2022

Club News

MANAGER: It's a big win

More from Paul Simpson on the Grimsby game

28 September 2022

A clinical and clipped first half was followed by a dogged and determined second period that came together to give the Blues their first away win of the season at Blundell Park on Tuesday night, and it was all done in front of 144 travelling fans and a legion of iFollowers who celebrated with their team online and in-person as soon as the final whistle went.

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The result makes it just one defeat in ten league games, and puts United in eighth spot with a firm foundation to build from.

“It’s brilliant for the players, it shows the work they’re putting in, and I’m delighted for everybody,” manager Paul Simpson said. “It wasn’t a great game of football from us, but sometimes football’s not won prettily.

“Sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up and dig deep. I think Jack Stretton’s performance epitomised everything about us. His work-rate, his desire to do the horrible side of the game, first half the attacking side, second half he had to put a hell of a shift in.

“That goes for everybody, they really had to dig in. I’m quite sure Grimsby will be feeling a bit hard done to, but you know what, I don’t care about that, I’m not bothered about them at all.

“It was about coming here, getting a good start to the game and trying to keep it going. We had a brilliant start, unfortunately didn’t keep it going, made it difficult because we kept giving the ball away.

“Yes it was under a lot of pressure, we got nervous and maybe that’s what happens when you haven’t won away for a while, but thankfully we saw it over the line.”

“We were up against it at times, but Tomas didn’t have a lot of saves to make, he didn’t get tested,” he added. “They can have the ball, but if they aren’t going to trouble the goalkeeper they’re not going to score goals.

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“I’m saying they feel hard done to because they probably dominated possession, but you don’t win games of football just by passing the ball, you have to threaten the goal.

“First half we really threatened the goal, probably could have got more than the couple of goals we did get, but what a lovely feeling to go in at two goals up. We just couldn’t quite get that third goal, or keep the ball enough.

“I think if we had passed it, they’d have gone under, because they’re under a bit of pressure, not winning games at home, and the crowd were just starting to turn a bit. It’s a big win, a big, big win.

“The players in there are absolutely delighted. They’re shattered, but that’s what it should be like at the end of a game when you do that. I’m really pleased and it puts us in a nice position.”

Once again a tweak to the shape midway through the first half tipped the balance of power back in the way of the Cumbrians as Jon Mellish moved further forward, and the rest of the pack reshuffled to plug the gaps.

“We had to react because Simmonds was just playing off Taylor and giving us a little bit of confusion,” he explained. “We decided to stick Callum in and around him, it was about 30 minutes and I said to Gav that I felt we needed to do something to get control back in the game, maybe get to the break and reassess it.

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“Thankfully we got further in front, so we kept it the same way. I think it shows the adaptability and versatility of the group that they’re able to change it, change in-game and be able to do the job.

“I don’t think second half it was about the shape, it was more our nervousness, lack of control and not keeping the ball that allowed Grimsby to have that momentum. But the big thing was we got through to a huge three points.

“After the disappointment of Saturday it tells me they’ve got a desire to do well. That’s the big thing. I’ve questioned them on Saturday, questioned them on Monday again, and what a reaction we got.

“There are some really tired legs, but I want them ready to do it in front of our own fans on Saturday again. We have an opportunity to get ourselves into the top places, to get ourselves closer to that first target. The sooner we do it we can start thinking about other targets.” 

“The sooner we can get to a safety net of 42 points - that’s our first target,” he confirmed. “I don’t care what anybody else is saying.

“From where we were from the start when I came in, and the end of last season, and the start of this season with our rebuild, we’re in a really good position.

“We have to make it count on Saturday, and I was disappointed last Saturday to only take one point. Deep down I thought if we can get a win here and do it properly at home against a tough side in Crewe, if we could take seven points, and I’m not getting ahead of myself, that would be a really good period.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Paul Simpson on iFollow United now.

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