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Club News

MANAGER: Earned it as a group

Paul Simpson on a clean sheet record equalled

24 April 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Earned it as a group

Paul Simpson on a clean sheet record equalled

24 April 2023

Shut-out number 20 of the season on Saturday equalled a club record that was set by Keiren Westwood and Anthony Williams during Paul Simpson’s first spell in charge, some 17 seasons ago, with Dave McKellar’s individual record of 19 set back in the 1980’s toppled by Tomas Holy and his defence into the bargain.

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Speaking about the impressive defensive achievement, manager Paul Simpson said: “You have to try to achieve things like this because any sort of success is built on solid defending.

“I include the goalkeeper, the back players, midfielders putting blocks in, getting out to balls, and forward players pressing from the front. As a group they’ve massively earned those 20 clean sheets.

“Now we’ve got two more definite league games to go and it would be nice if we can get another couple and see this through properly.”

“At the start of the season I wanted 18, and we’ve gone past that, so we have done really well,” he added. “It’s not just the keeper, it’s the whole group, and everybody really dug in and earned the right to add another one to the tally from the Saturday game.

“We’ve had saves, blocks, bodies on the line, and that’s what you need to get success and results. The tackle by Jack Armer on Whitfield was a great example.

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“Things like that are as good as goals. They are goal-saving challenges. I think every single one of the lads put a shift in. I always say you have to run yourself into the ground, and there’s willing lads on the bench with energy ready to come on and help.

“That’s why Callum Guy and Mells came off. Jon was playing in a different position, he found it a bit harder and even though he can run all day long he was shattered. But we’ve got a strong bench at the moment and what a lovely position that is to be in. 

“When we’re talking about the tackles and blocks, that’s why I think it’s players who win games. It’s not systems or tactics, it’s desire and effort. Whether Jack is at wing back or left back, if he doesn’t have the desire to get back and tackle at that moment then we won’t stop chances like it, and that could easily have been a goal.

“We had commitment from every player and there are so many positives to take from a performance like that. Paul Huntington lead it all really well and everybody around him did their job as well.

“I was so pleased with Corey again, with the two full backs, two midfielders in front of them, I thought there were lots of really positive good things that gave us that opportunity to get a result.”


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