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Club News

MANAGER: We need to get back to it

Paul Simpson on finding the back of the net

3 April 2023

Club News

MANAGER: We need to get back to it

Paul Simpson on finding the back of the net

3 April 2023

A run of four games without a goal has brought an understandable sense of frustration, but also a determination to return to the kind of attacking form that put the Blues at the top of the goals scored pile just a few weeks ago.

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“There’s nothing being said that I’ve heard that makes me think it’s on the players’ minds, but I’m sure it is,” manager Paul Simpson said. “It’s annoying, it’s disappointing and it’s frustrating. It’s all of those things.

“I think when you look at some of the opportunities we’ve had where we’re getting in behind their back four, it’s just the final third quality that’s lacking. We aren’t finding the right pass, we’re hitting the first man or we’re turning down opportunities to shoot.

“Jon Mellish did really well to get past the goalkeeper and, to be fair, the keeper got a touch on it which meant that Jon couldn’t get enough power on the strike to score.

“There were some big opportunities, without saying they’re clear-cut, but they were there for us. As I said, we haven’t done enough, and we have to be better. We’ve now got seven games to get the results we need, and we need to start picking points up again quickly.”

“The lads aren’t happy with the situation, they’re all gutted in there, they’re really disappointed,” he continued. “But on Saturday we haven’t done enough, end of story.

“If you can’t do it properly in the final third, and maybe we’re not having the luck that you have to have as well, then it makes things difficult.

“It’s when we get in behind, and get the chance to put a cross in, and it needs somebody to get on the end of it, and they don’t. When we’re sliding balls in, set plays and not executing them properly, it’s all those things.

“We’ve got to get working again, we’ve got to get back to work, get back to finding those right passes, finding the right executions. Then we can deal with it from there.”

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“I’ve said to them, this isn’t a slant on the forwards, this is us all, this is the whole group, and we’ve got to get back to doing things properly,” he continued. “Everybody, wing-backs are getting into good areas and not finding passes, midfielders are not finding the pass, forward players are not being clinical, not getting across defenders, all those things.

“It’s everybody. As a group we got the goals, as a group we’re now not getting the goals, and we need to go again now.

“Maybe it’s just trying to score the perfect goal, where the perfect goal’s probably not going to happen. We need a scruffy goal, I don’t care if it goes in off the back of somebody’s head, off their backside, we need a goal, we need to get going again.

“We’re not in a crisis, we’re still in a really good position, but we’re making it very hard for ourselves. One thing I would say is nothing in this world comes easy to you, you’re going to have to dig in, you have to hurt for each other.

“We’re going to have to get ourselves over the line and make sure we keep working as hard as we have been, but make sure we get better quality.”

And the lack of goals hasn’t been for the want of trying, with plenty of different combinations tried along the way.

“I think we’ve got to get a little bit better consistency,” he said. “It’s difficult because nobody’s jumping out and saying I deserve to play every single game in terms of all the forward players.

“It sounds a bit disrespectful, but it’s a little bit of a toss of a coin and hoping. I felt on Saturday Omari’s pace would cause problems, but he never got himself into the areas to do that.

“I felt we needed to go back to Kristian Dennis because he’s our leading goalscorer, but he never got any opportunities. So as a group we’ve got to make chances for forwards, and then the forwards have got to finish them off.

“And we have to be better with set plays, and that’s twofold. We’re getting some deliveries in and we’re not getting people across goalkeepers or winning first contact, then there’s other occasions when we’re not getting deliveries in.

“We have to go again, keep working on it. We’ve scored a lot of goals from set plays, and it would be nice if over these last seven we could get some more. We’ll take a goal any way we can, we’ve just got to get back on it.”


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