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Club News

MANAGER: We know they're a good side

Paul Simpson ahead of tomorrow's game

21 April 2023

United head to Holker Street on Saturday with both teams in a good run of form – the Blues four unbeaten and the hosts with a six-game run without defeat on their own patch to protect.

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“It’s a brilliant game to look forward to, and I’m sure they’ll be disappointed that it’s probably too much for them to expect to get into the play-offs now, but they’ve still had a very good season,” gaffer Paul Simpson told us.

“We’ve got so much to play for, in terms of the league position and the fact that there are three games to go, so this is a fantastic position for us to be in. That’s why it’s a game that we can really look forward to.

“They’re hard to beat at home but for us it’s just the next game. We’ll go about it in a way that we think will win us the points, it’s as simple as that. It’s like the game on Tuesday, we wanted to win that, and that’s our thinking with the team selection.

“We pick the team we think is best suited to winning us the game. We have to use the momentum we saw in the second half against Stockport to take into Saturday. We’re unbeaten in four games, we’re on a good run ourselves, but we need more points and wins.

“We have to go for it. It won’t be an absolute gung-ho, take your football brain out and throw everything at it approach, but we want to be positive. We’ll go with a plan because we know they’re a good side and they have good individual players who are very good footballers.

“The good thing is that we know when we do things properly we’re a good side as well. We can cause teams problems when we’re on our game, and that’s what we want to be doing this weekend.”

Match Previews


20 April 2023

The change of shape used in the second half in midweek could be a factor that affects team selection?

“There have been quite a few times this season where things like that have made me think, but people have to understand that I don’t just turn up on a Saturday and stick the names in a tombola drum and take 11 out,” he explained. “There’s a thought process that goes into it.

“Going into last weekend’s game against Northampton I felt it was an opportunity to go on the front foot and be really positive, and that’s why I went with Jordan Gibson as an attacking wing back. We didn’t do enough to go and win it, and that’s not down to Jordan, that’s the whole team.

“I knew Ben Barclay was going to be missing on Tuesday so Corey was always going to come in. I also had it in my mind that there was every possibility we were going to have to go to a back four, and that’s why Joel Senior was selected.

“Although I prepare for a game with a shape, or whatever, I always have different ‘what if’ scenarios in my mind as well. That covers going a goal down, protecting a lead, having somebody sent off – I have these different scenarios in my head because that how I feel you need to prepare properly.

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MANAGER: It's about managing the energy

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"We’re going into this game to win it. We’ll have the ‘what if’ scenarios depending on what’s going to go on, and everybody is just going to have to wait and see what my selection is to start.

“If you think about it we have Barclay, Senior, Whelan, Mellish, Robinson, and that’s just in defence in terms of who plays where.

“Up front we have Edmondson, Garner, Patrick, who didn’t start on Tuesday, and they’re all chomping at the bit. Jayden Harris wants to play, Jamie Devitt wants more pitch time, Taylor Charters is keen, and it shows me that we’re getting a much stronger squad now.

“We’re probably going to take a group of 20 or 21 players this weekend, and then the lads who aren’t involved because of injuries like Tobi, Morgan, Bren and Jack Ellis, they all want to come to the game and be part of it as well.

“We have a group who all want to be involved and who want to try to achieve something. The lads who aren’t out on the grass or who can’t be considered for selection have their part to play in making sure the positive feeling stays with us.

“And we have no fresh injury worries. Callum Guy is fine, it’s just affected his looks. He took a whack off Edmo, it was one of those accidental things, but he’s trained fine.

“There are no issues there for him. We have no other issues from anybody from the other night and hopefully that will still be the case come Saturday after the game as well.”

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