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Club News

MANAGER: Given the group a real lift

Paul Simpson on the keepers

11 August 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Given the group a real lift

Paul Simpson on the keepers

11 August 2023

The addition of Jokull Andresson on Thursday morning brought manager Paul Simpson one step closer to having a group that is ready to take on the first half of the season, with the confident glovesman already a big hit in the dressing room.

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“He’s given the group a real lift,” he said. “He’s certainly got a strong personality, which is brilliant, because we need it.

“I maybe didn’t have the confidence to play Mick Kelly last year but he was a great character to have around the place, and Jokull has come in and been the same today.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air and his challenge is now to take that personality and push Tomas as hard as he can as he tries to get himself into the team.”

“We’ve had to be patient and I’m delighted we’ve got him in,” he continued. “I think he’s a good addition to the group. He’s had some loans already, so he has experience of League One and other leagues.

“Now he’s got the challenge of forcing himself into the side. He has to show he deserves to play and deserves to dislodge Tomas. He’s come in to hopefully be a No1, not just an understudy to keep the bench warm.

“It’s not a first loan. Any signing is always a little bit of a gamble, but I think when it’s a first loan it’s an even bigger gamble. The fact he’s been out before means he understands it, he’s got a real strong personality, he’s a proper character, I think he’ll add something to the changing room.

“Watching him in training, I don’t think he’s going to settle for second best or accept anybody taking their foot off the gas in front of him. He’s a good size and has a good background to him.

“He’s athletic, a good size, he likes to dominate his 18-yard box, he’s a good shot stopper, he’s incredibly brave and he’s a good talker. He never shut up at all in his first session.

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“That makes people in front of them react and do things. He doesn’t let anybody rest. I don’t think he’s going to let anybody settle. There were goals going in today and he’s screaming at players to do things differently, just trying to get good standards.  

“We’ve had a list of about six goalkeepers that we’ve been in discussions all the time with the clubs, waiting to see which one dropped.

“Unlike strikers there are quite a few goalkeepers out there who we think are about the same sort of level. This wasn’t the one I expected to get in the other week but thankfully he has come available again. He was on the bench for their game on Tuesday but thankfully they’ve agreed to it and he’s through the door.” 

On what it adds for the two keepers already in the building, he commented: “I want to see how Tomas responds to this. He’s a goalkeeper who played 46 games last season with a record number of clean sheets.

“He deserves the opportunity to start the season. But I want somebody who is going to push him all the way and if at any point I get to a stage where I think Tomas needs to come out, I have total confidence that Jokull will be able to go in and do that job.

“That’s why he’s been brought in and in no way am I being disrespectful to Gabe Breeze when I say that. Because Gabe has got a good future ahead of him. I just think at the moment we needed another goalkeeper.

“He’s a young player who needs games. I don’t feel as though he’s ready to play in our first team yet, which is normal for a young goalkeeper. We’ll be looking to get him games somewhere, but it has to be the right one.

“He was pushed into a loan last season, which we weren’t particularly happy about, so it’s got to be the right one for him. We want him to be training here because Dave Timmins wants to be working with him as much as he possibly can.

“We want to try and have a real development year for him, so we just need to wait and see who wants to take him and where we go from there with it.”

Jokull Andresson will not be allowed to feature in the games against Reading this season. 


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