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MANAGER: They've shown us the fighting spirit

Paul Simpson on the psychological boost from clawing back a two-goal deficit

7 September 2022

Club News

MANAGER: They've shown us the fighting spirit

Paul Simpson on the psychological boost from clawing back a two-goal deficit

7 September 2022

Pegging back a two-goal deficit is never easy, but that’s exactly what United did on Saturday as they changed shape and approach to provide themselves with a springboard towards a share of the spoils.

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And boss Paul Simpson agreed that it should give the group a psychological lift with them having netted three goals despite not being at their best for the duration of the game.

“The truth is I didn’t know we could do it because we haven’t done it so far,” he said. “But they’ve now shown us they have that fighting spirit in them, which is a real good thing to have if you have that mentality.

“We’ve got leaders out there. I wanted our leaders to stand up a little bit when we had that rocky spell. We went 2-1 down and needed people to grab hold of the game and get a grip of it and give us that solidity.

“It had to come even more at 3-1, but we kept going, stayed positive and that for me is a real big plus. As a manager that’s a good thing to see from us. I don’t want to keep having to do, that but I think we showed we’re capable of it.”

The flip side, of course, and it’s an obvious statement to make, is to try to avoid going behind in games.

“I need to go away and look at it and see what it is,” he confirmed. “My big thing I keep saying to them is, in training when we do our possession drills, it’s six passes that gets you a goal.

“I want them to learn how to keep the ball and try to get a grip of the game. We didn’t get enough instances of getting six passes together early in the game and that cost us because we kept giving it away cheap.

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“With their forward players they had, and the wide players with a bit of pace, and the right-back who showed incredible pace and energy down that side, we invited the trouble onto ourselves.

“The thing we have to do is make sure we get the importance of doing the basics right – that’s passing the ball properly, retaining it when it goes up, and keep working. Kristian Dennis has absolutely worked his socks off, Owen Moxon came through a real rocky patch, again showed great commitment to keep going and put the deliveries in we needed. So many positives but things we’ve just got to keep working on.” 

“But the one thing I would say is I think that group of players have showed an incredible character,” he continued. “A bit of a strong personality has come out to be able to dig deep, get themselves back in the game, and they possibly could have nicked a win.

“The game was too open for me in my opinion. That’s not how I want it to be, I want us to have a bit more solidity and security. In the end we’re delighted we’ve taken a point from it but there are so many things we have to keep building.

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“I’ve said all along, this situation at this football club is not going to change overnight. This is going to be a slow build, I want it to be quick, quicker than it is at the moment, but we’ve just got to keep working, trying to improve the players, getting them to understand the importance of doing the basic things right. If we keep doing that we’ll be ok.”

Expanding more on what is a work in progress, he said: “I think it probably sums up League Two. It’s the level of football that we’re at.

“We are going to get mistakes, we are going to get things that don’t quite go to plan. I just think if you work extremely hard you have half a chance of being successful.

“I’ve got to give the players credit – they stuck to it, kept going, showed a real commitment and desire and I think at the end, the supporters who turned up, another brilliant turnout, I think they can see there’s a real desire to do well here.”


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