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Club News

MANAGER: It's about managing the energy

Paul Simpson on being in a great position with three to play

21 April 2023

Club News

MANAGER: It's about managing the energy

Paul Simpson on being in a great position with three to play

21 April 2023

The final run-in is well and truly under way and, with nine points up for grabs for the Blues, it all comes down to giving it everything as the lads look to cap off their good work with a strong finish.

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“Without a doubt these are the sort of games you need to relish, because this is where you want to be at this stage of the season,” manager Paul Simpson said. “We’ve had a really good season, and I look at the crowds that are coming in and I wander around town at times, and there is such a positive feeling to the place.

“That’s what I wanted, and it’s what I want to keep. I hope it gets stronger and that we continue to win games of football. That’s why I want everybody to stay really positive, and whatever happens it’s been a big step forward from last season.

“There is an edge to all games like this but I think the players are handling it. It’s strange how it works out because I always give them three messages at the end of my final team talk, and the last thing I said to them on Tuesday was to go and send a message out about ourselves, that we were back at it.

“I felt that was what we needed to do because little doubts had started to creep in with supporters doubting it, players doubting it. I didn’t, and that is the honest truth. I don’t doubt it, I think we have more than enough ability in that group to be able to go and achieve something.

“I wanted the players to send a message to themselves and to the fans, and they certainly did that with the way they went about it. I would probably say that a draw was a fair result on the whole balance of the game, and I think it was just the nature of that equaliser that sickens me a little bit.

“I felt as though we could have dealt with it a little bit better, but the truth of it is that it’s gone now, we took the point, it’s another point closer to where we want to be, and it’s now a full focus on the next one.”

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With the way results have gone over the last few weeks there are still a number of possible outcomes for all of the teams who are still fighting for a top seven spot.

“All you can ever do is your own job,” he agreed. “When you look at the other games that are coming up, there are some tough fixtures for everybody, and nerves can creep in as the results start to come in.

“That’s what happens, it’s human nature, but it’s also what football is about. When you’re playing football you want to be nervous, I think you have to have that nervous edge, and it’s about channelling it right.

“If the day comes where you’re not nervous you need to get out of it. You shouldn’t be involved. It’s a brilliant situation, a really good game to look forward to, and I know that everybody who is fit will be doing everything they can to be involved in the next one as well.”

“Other teams have all got each other to play,” he continued. “Barrow have Stevenage to play so they could still have a say in what goes on at that end. They also have Hartlepool to play, so they could also have a part to play at that bottom end of the table as well.

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“That’s the beauty of English football because every team does their maximum in every game. There’s never a case of the season’s over, we’ll just throw the towel in and get the flip flops ready, there’s a proper professionalism about the way teams go about things.

“We’ve got to do our jobs properly, and if we do that in our three games we can take whatever comes. I had figures in mind at the start of the season by going off the averages, and it told me that you needed 89 points to be champions.

“That might actually be right, depending how Orient react to already being up. I also had a figure of 82 for automatic, and that may be right. I did have 72 for the play-offs, and it looks like I’ll be a little bit short with that prediction.

“I had it as 42 to avoid relegation and that could be the right number as well. It’s just the play-off places that I’ve underestimated, but we’re still in a good position despite that.

“I know teams have games in hand, but I can’t do anything about that, we just have to do what we can to win our games. If we can win on Saturday it’ll set us up for the next one. If we beat Salford it sets us up again for the last one, and we have to wait and see what that will mean.”


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