Extremely effective on Tuesday night in Mansfield was a slight tweak to the shape, with the defensive back five providing a platform from which the two midfield anchors and three attack-minded players could go and do their thing.
“The shape we set up with was right, it was effective and it caused them problems, but sadly we’ve only got that one point from doing it,” manager Paul Simpson said.
“The front lads ran their socks off, and that’s the reason I took Jordan Gibson off. He was absolutely shattered, he was starting to flag a little bit and he wasn’t quite doing the recovery side of it as well.
“We were still getting into good areas and I was just hoping that Sonny Hilton might be able to come on and give us a little bit more.
“I was hoping that Jack Stretton might get a chance back in the Derbyshire area where he’s comfortable, but it didn’t happen for us. The good thing is that there are a lot of positives we can take away from it.”
“The way we started was really good, and that’s credit to the players,” he added. “That’s nothing to do with me or the staff, that’s the players. They made the decision to start in that way, and we have to carry that on.
“We’ve got a good home fixture to look forward to now and we have to make sure we’re right for it. If you can be picking up a point away from home, especially a tough one like this, and add three points at Brunton Park to it, then that’s a good week for us.
“What it does is give us another point to say that we’re still ok, but I really do think we should have got all three from it. I would have taken a point before the game but with the way we went about it and the chances we created, we should be talking about a win.
“We aren’t, but we can still be pleased that it was a strong performance. I think we’re satisfied with a point, but I’m dissatisfied as well because I think we should have taken three with the chances we created, from working from a really solid shape and energy going forward.”
And the discipline and work rate from the Blues forced the hosts into some in-game switches in an attempt to make some headway.
“The way we started the game, we asked them about going a goal behind and the problems that causes,” the manager explained. “We knew Mansfield could cause problems with the shape they play, but it’s testament to how we went about the first half that they changed it.
“They went to a back four, still didn’t get any joy, so had to change it back again. That’s a sign that our players have done their jobs well.
“It is about players, how they’ve gone about it, worked, competed. We’ve worked from a really solid shape that gave us a real threat going forward. There were a lot of good things.
“Defensively we were absolutely magnificent, and Tomas when he was called into action, not a lot but the times he did, he was doing his job.
“To turn all of the good work into more points, we need that little bit of quality, and we’ve got the players to do it. Owen Moxon’s got it, Callum, Gibbo, more of them in other areas.
“I said at half time that if we could just take another pass or two and take a bit of extra care around the 18 yard box we’d have got rewards out of that. That’s what we’ve got to improve on.
“We’ve certainly got stability and strength defensively. We’ve just got to add that little bit of finesse when we get around the box to finish things off.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Paul Simpson on iFollow United now.
Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.