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MANAGER: We're not a million miles away

Paul Simpson on keeping the belief

21 August 2023

Club News

MANAGER: We're not a million miles away

Paul Simpson on keeping the belief

21 August 2023

The need to be more ruthless in the final third has been an open topic for discussion at Brunton Park through the opening weeks of the season, but manager Paul Simpson insists that, although frustrating, it’s not something that is weighing heavy on minds.

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“No, I don’t think it is,” he told us. “It’s not a psychological thing or a mental block as such, but we do know the importance of getting first goals.

“We’ve had the chances, and we must have hit double figures of corners at the weekend. Some of the deliveries were really good.

“We talked about overloading the near post and the deliveries were going in from Owen Moxon. We were getting good deliveries there without getting on the end of it, and that’s a reminder for us that it is fine margins.

“You have to get those bits right. We do the work on it, we do the analysis on the opposition, and we try to highlight where the weaknesses are. From there we try to exploit it.

“If you don’t get people doing it in the game there’s not a lot you can glean from it really, and we’ve not been able to score because of that.”

“It’s up to us to stay with it and make sure we don’t lose belief,” he continued. “We haven’t got a magic formula to it, but I believe that the players are good enough.

“I believe we’ve got enough here. I think we’ve showed, and I’d probably say in every game this season, that in patches we can be a good footballing team.

“To be a really good footballing team, and to make sure that we’re a League One side, we have to finish things off in those moments where we have a little bit of pressure and momentum. We didn’t do it on Saturday so we come away with nothing.”

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But is he getting a sense of building frustration from within the dressing room?

“Deep down there is a frustration because I think that was a game where we probably could have got something out of it,” he commented. “I thought there wasn’t much in it and that’s against a well-established League One side.

“They’ve got some good players. As I said after the game, we made them defend and I thought their three centre backs were excellent for them. They had a good system about how they played.

“I think we’ve got good footballers as well, and we have shown that in patches. I’ll say it again, you have to finish things off and we haven’t been able to.

“To get there we just have to keep going, it’s a simple as that. We’ve got to keep working like we did last Tuesday night, particularly in the second half, and working like we did all through the game on Saturday.

“We have to keep playing the football in the same way, but we’ve got to start finishing it off. We’ve got to keep plugging away. I don’t think we’re a million miles away so we’ve got to stick together and hope that things start to turn for us.”

“You can’t let it drag you down, but you also can’t sit back and think there was a lot of nice stuff and it’ll be ok, because it won’t,” he continued. “We have to strive to be better. I’m not satisfied that we were ok in patches.

“I want us to be better in longer patches. I asked for a full performance on Saturday because that’s what I want, not half a game.

“I think we had a full game of trying to do the right things, we just weren’t as effective as I want us to be, particularly in the final third.

“Obviously you’ve got to be conscious of the mental side of things as you wait for that first win. The mind is a really powerful tool, especially with footballers.

“We have to keep believing. Or start believing even more maybe. I thought we started against Exeter with belief, we went about the game properly, we started the second half well, kept the ball really well.

“It’s the belief when you get in the final third, it’s the clear mind in the final third to be able to execute whatever it is you’re trying to do, and that’s probably where we just need to step it up a little bit.”


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