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Interviews

MANAGER: It's down to him now

Paul Simpson on Sam Fishburn

8 September 2022

Interviews

MANAGER: It's down to him now

Paul Simpson on Sam Fishburn

8 September 2022

Striker Sam Fishburn netted the late winner against Fleetwood on Tuesday afternoon, having returned early from his loan spell with Blyth Spartans, which meant he was available to feature in the game.

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The 18-year-old has 15 appearances for the Blues to his name, and enjoyed a spell with Lancaster City which saw him score for fun during the early part of last season.

Speaking today, manager Paul Simpson said: “Sam has come back to us because it hasn’t worked out for him at Blyth.

“We had a conversation with them and they weren’t particularly happy with what he was doing, and he wasn’t too happy with the fact he wasn’t playing. I don’t blame Blyth for that, if they feel he isn’t doing a job then they’re not going to play him.

“Graham Fenton didn’t feel that Fish was performing, which you have to do before a manager will select you. We spoke about bringing him back and we all agreed that was the best thing to do.

“The good thing for him is that he’s going straight back out to another club, we just need to get all of that finalised. That should happen over the course of the next few days.

“He needs to be playing games and he needs to get his football going again. I’ve had a conversation with him because it isn’t happening for him here at the moment.

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“He needs to get his game back to where it was before I came in. He needs to show us that he’s got the desire, enthusiasm and the ability to be able to go and affect games.

“He did well at Lancaster and he got his run of games here, and that happens by working hard. People tell me how good he was before I came in, and for whatever reason the period leading into me getting the job was when he’d gone off the boil a little bit.

“There’s obviously something there, but unfortunately I haven’t seen it from him yet. He hasn’t been able to do it through my time here.

“The challenge for him is that he has to go out on the next loan and show everybody that he wants to be a professional footballer.

“Hopefully he’ll do that, bang a load of goals in and we’ll be recalling him at the halfway point to come and do it for us in January.

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“I’ve watched his clips and I’ve had a conversation with him about what he needs to do better, and if he does get this loan deal through, he has to go there and make it count.

“All young players go through peaks and troughs and he has to make sure this is a dip that he climbs out of. I’d be more concerned if he’d never produced it, but he has, he showed that before I came here.

“I say things as they are, I’ve told him this when I’ve sat with him, so he knows how I’m thinking. As a player you can’t afford to waste a single day, not if you want a career. You have to train hard and earn everything you get, and if it fails it tends to be down to the player.

"I'm not saying this about Sam specifically here, but so many times in my career I’ve come across people who blame all sorts. I believe you have to look at yourself and make sure you’re taking the opportunity that’s in front of you with both hands.

“Every player wants to play and going on loan is a great opportunity to get the game time he wants. It’s a great platform for him to show everybody he can do it, and with that recall clause it means we can see where he goes with it all.

“It’s down to him now. I really do want to see what he’s all about.”

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