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Club News

MANAGER: Again, we'll wait and see

Paul Simpson on injuries and on players stepping in

8 April 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Again, we'll wait and see

Paul Simpson on injuries and on players stepping in

8 April 2023

Club News

MANAGER: We got it right all round

8 April 2023

It’s a waiting game once again for the Blues with a late decision due on midfielder Callum Guy ahead of Monday’s away trip to Walsall, after he left the field during the half-time break on Friday.

“He felt something tighten in the back of his leg, or his knee,” manager Paul Simpson explained. “I don’t know how severe it is at the moment, but he’s told us that he doesn’t think it’s too bad because he jumped up and landed awkwardly.

“He said he sprinted after that and it felt ok, so we’ll just wait and see. I wasn’t prepared to take any risks and I have to say that I was really pleased with Jamie Devitt.

“I thought he brought a calm head. I wanted to go with his experience and I felt he brought a bit of quality in there. Hopefully Callum is ok and hopefully Jamie Devitt is as well.

“I think Callum possibly could have carried on, but you just don’t know. It wasn’t worth any risk. When you’ve got a bench looking to come on and who want to come on, and it could have been Jamie Devitt or Jordan Gibson, I chose to go with Dev because of his experience and it certainly worked.”

“So Callum is one we’ll be waiting on,” he added. “Owen Moxon got another whack on his ankle, so we’ll see how he is as well.

“When you come out of a game where they’ve worked as hard as they have there will always be little things. I’m not worried about anything at the moment, we just need to wait and see.

“Thankfully we had somebody like Dev to come on who brought a calmness to it. He can find a pass, he doesn’t have the legs that he can go and sprint all over the place, but we needed a bit of experience and calmness in there just to find those passes.

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"Alfie McCalmont was excellent, he pressed really well, looked better on the football as well, and fed things out wide into good areas for us. There was a lot of good performances. We’ll see who gets selected for Monday and who’s fresh ready to go again.”

Speaking more about what was a very good 45 minutes from Jamie Devitt, he told us: “That type of performance is what Dev brings to it, to be honest with you.

“He has real quality on the ball. He’s obviously got an issue about him because of the injury problems he’s had this year, and he doesn’t have the legs of other players, but he does have that little bit of football intelligence.

“His experience helps with that and he’s an absolute top character around the dressing room. Even when he was injured or if he was left out of the 18, he’s just a hugely positive influence.

“That’s why I like having him around. He’s got his opportunity, which he’s waited really patiently for, and I thought his performance was very good.”

And, as mentioned, there are others straining at the leash to be involved.

“Taylor Charters is getting there, but I think we need to get him a couple of weeks of training because of what he’s been through,” he told us. “I think if I’m right we’re looking possibly for him to be available for the Barrow game. I’d be very surprised if it’s before then, but he’ll give us another option there.

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“We’ve still got Joel Senior, Jayden Harris, JK Gordon, who I thought looked really sharp in training on Friday, but I wanted the options I had on the bench today. He may come into my thoughts for Monday along with other players.

“We’ve got good options at this moment, but I’m not sure we’ll get anything from Tobi, maybe last game of the season he might be right at a push, maybe Brennan, but possibly not for this season, unless we were to get to the play-offs. We have what we have and hopefully that’s enough.”

With those options available, it’s a case of picking the team the manager thinks will best suit the occasion. 

“It’s never personal, I don’t have anything personal going on when it comes to team selection,” he commented. “I just want to win games, and I pick a team for every game that I think has the best chance of winning.

“I don’t always get it right, that’s fairly obvious, but I do it for the right reasons. I want us to be a threat so I look at where I think we can cause problems and open teams up.

“We’ve had it quite a few times this season because everybody wants to be involved. You look at people like Corey Whelan when he’s had to step in, he’s been excellent.

“Dev today stepped in, when we’ve had all sorts of players stepping in and doing a job and they’ve all done it, that’s credit to them as a group that they’re all together, they all want the right things.

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“There are players waiting in the wings so when their opportunity comes, they’re able to come in and take it, like Ben has today, like Jack Ellis has today, and make sure they do everything to keep the shirt.”

“I thought Ben was excellent, he was outstanding,” he added. “He’s another who has had a really disrupted season. Jack was back and he showed good energy, and he almost got himself a goal when he went through on the right in the second half.

“We’ve just got to make sure everybody is ok now, and that we dust ourselves down and get ready to go again. And Jack, that right wing-back role has been a real pain for me because we’ve had people dropping like flies.

“Whether Jack stays in, whether he’s got the energy to go again on Monday we wait and see, but we know we’ve got Joel to come in. All in all I was really pleased with Jack, thought he showed good energy, some good quality and calmness on the ball, and he’s given himself a chance of staying in there.”

On how the players do the remainder of the weekend, he explained: “They’ll get recovery for Saturday, not a lot, just enough to make sure everybody is ok.

“We’ll train on Sunday with our last bits of preparation for Walsall and then we’ll see. I’ll see if I name the side on Sunday or if I wait and see how everybody is come Monday.

“It is a quick turnaround but we’ll be ready for it, and Walsall had a game as well, so we’re all in the same boat. It’s what the fixtures have thrown at us.

“We’ve got so much to go for that we’ve got to find the energy from somewhere, find the consistent level of performance, and hope that we’re able to keep moving forward.”


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