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Club News

MANAGER: I want us to surprise people

Paul Simpson on pundits and predictions

5 August 2023

Club News

MANAGER: I want us to surprise people

Paul Simpson on pundits and predictions

5 August 2023

If you follow any of the pundits or betting companies, even in passing, you’ll have noticed that they place the Blues well down the League One rankings … but we’ve been here before … quite recently in fact.

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And we all know how that turned out!

“It doesn’t affect me and if it affected the players we would have had it last year because I think we were one of the favourites to go down last year as well,” manager Paul Simpson asserted.

“That’s why I don’t waste my money on that sort of thing. It doesn’t really matter, if we don’t get enough points we’ll deserve to go down, but at the moment we’re still in a good position because we haven’t even started yet.

“Nobody knows what we’re going to do. We have a clear mind about what we want to do, we want to keep surprising people.

“We surprised everybody last year and we want to carry on with that. We won’t surprise ourselves, just everybody on the outside, and that’s the challenge for us again this season.

“Like I say, I don’t bother with it at all. I don’t care what other people think, it’s not my problem. They get paid money for giving an opinion.

“It’s always easy to do that, I’ve done it before, I’ve been a pundit on Sky and on the radio, it’s easy to sit there and cast opinions when there’s no stress and pressure to it. That’s fine, let them crack on.

“We just have to do our job. And listen, if come the end of the season we haven’t got enough points, they’re going to be right, and they’ll sit there and pat themselves on the back. But we’re going to do everything we possibly can to be successful this year. 

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“I don’t think the players will have any type of imposter syndrome because they know they’ve earned the right to be in League One. I think that’s really important because I don’t believe you get promotion by chance, you get promotion by being consistent and doing things well.

“I don’t care if anybody else thinks we deserve to or not, we absolutely deserved to go up and we’re now in League One. We have to make sure that we show in our performances that we deserve to stay there.

“The only way we’ll do that is by winning games and doing things properly. I don’t want people to enjoy coming here because that normally means they’ve gone away with something. I want it to be horrible to play against us this year and I want to be really effective in how we do it.

“Whether that be through outworking people, outbattling people or outplaying people, I don’t actually care. I want us to be performing to a level where we keep our supporters happy and make them want to keep coming back again.”

And ultimately it comes down to the squad to get the job done, with the momentum from last season firmly in their favour.

“We can see how driven this group are and the togetherness we had last season is still evident, so we’ve got to keep that,” he commented.

“I said earlier, we aren’t going to go through this season with just 11 players, we’re going to need everyone to play their part. Whether that’s playing their part from the start, coming on and finishing a game, or playing their part day to day in training by keeping the standards high and having a positive influence around the dressing room.

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“We all have to play our part in it. It’s now a long season, I just said to Dave Timmins, here we go, another season is coming. They just seem to keep rolling one into the next without any real break.

“I’m delighted it’s here, I’m really looking forward to it, and I think it’s number 41 for me. There’s so much to look forward to and we’ve just got to make sure we give ourselves a real fighting chance.

“It’s a long time since Carlisle United have been in League One and we’ve got to go and give it everything we’ve got to make sure we’re still in League One at the end of the season as well.”

“The first level of success is to make sure we have enough points to still be in the league next summer, that’s my first thing,” he continued.

“I want us to just go and do ourselves justice, and I don’t know what that is at the moment. We’re starting afresh, we know there are some big clubs in the league, and we know that we probably aren’t one of the biggest clubs in terms of finance, but I don’t care about those things.

“I want us to surprise people, I want us to do ourselves justice and I want to make sure that I’m still in the job at the end of the season.

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“It’s my first experience of League One - 41 years it’s taken to get to this. I’ve played here, with Blackpool when we got promotion, but it’s the first time I’ve managed at this level. I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s a great challenge. I look at the league and I’ve got Derby County, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town and Blackpool, all previous clubs of mine that I’m going back to. I don’t think I’ll get cheered at them all, but if we go and do ourselves justice I’ll be really chuffed.

“It’s a brilliant challenge. If we’d been in League Two it would have been an exciting challenge, but this is a step up, a real test for us.

“I think we’ve got a group of players, some of them it will be new, for some they’ve played at a higher level, some have played a lot of games at this level.

“I think we’ll be equipped for it, I think we’ll be ready for it. But there’s no point me thinking it. I keep saying this to the players. There’s no point me thinking you’re a good group, you have to go and show us all.

“That’s what Saturday afternoon gives us, that opportunity.”

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