MANAGER: It wasn't lack of effort

Manager Paul Simpson spoke to us shortly after full time following the disappointing defeat at Blackpool.

“It was a really tough afternoon,” he admitted. “Let’s start by saying they’re a better side than us, I’m not going to try and flower it up in our favour, they’re a better side.

“There’s a difference there with their quality. In the first half they haven’t opened us up, it’s a mistake that’s caused the goal. I think it’s a foul on Sam Lavelle leading up to it but it’s a mistake by our goalkeeper and nobody covers around him to cover it up.

“It’s a mistake, simple as that. Whether the mistake came because he was bumped into or not, I think he’s got to be stronger. I don’t think Tomas has had another save to make in the first half, I don’t think they had another shot on target.

“For the second goal Tomas has made a save and nobody has reacted to it, and the third goal we are trying to get a goal back and we got done with a ball over the top.”

“We started the second half ok,” he continued “We showed a bit of life about us, we had an opportunity when the linesman flags right in front of us where Sean Maguire could have been through on goal, I’m not saying he’s going to score but it’s an opportunity.

“We were having a little spell at that period of the game, we talked about staying in the game for little blocks and we did that in the first half. It was a rubbish goal to give away, really poor, we have to do better than that. There were so many things we weren’t good at today, but it was not a lack of effort.

“Before the game we talked about being clinical in both boxes. We had half chances, Alfie was under pressure for the one that came for him. Jack Robinson put a fantastic delivery in from a corner and their player headed it away inside the six yard box with nobody competing for it. We’ve had half chances but we haven’t done enough to go and score goals, it’s as simple as that. That’s been the story of the season for us.

“Blackpool are very close to a Championship side, we’re probably just above a League Two side, that’s the reality of the situation. People might not like me saying that but that’s where we are, and everybody’s got to stand up. I don’t think that was their best ability they showed today and we’ve got to hope our best ability starts to come out.”

The manager asked for everybody invested in the club to stick together after the way some fans reacted at the end of the game: “The thing that I’m probably most disappointed about today, yes our performance wasn’t good enough against a better team than us, but I’m really disappointed with the supporters today, I’m going to be really honest.

“People might not like this because supporters think they’re invincible and you can’t say anything against them, but I don’t deserve people giving me obscene gestures when I go over there at the end of the game. I don’t appreciate people telling me to F off when I go and thank the supporters.

“I think we’ve made a big difference to this football club, not me, we. The fans have been outstanding during that time, but today at the end of the game they weren’t outstanding. I don’t think it’s right that they’re clapping when we take a young 20-year-old striker off the pitch in Luke Plange. If they’re supporters of this football club like we believe they are, I don’t think that’s right.

“I am really disappointed about that, and I’m really disappointed about our performance. That performance wasn’t through a lack of effort, that’s through a lack of quality, that’s my opinion. I think we’ve been poor on the ball today and poor in our decision making, but I think they’ve worked and tried to do the right things. That’s the base we should expect, and I don’t think we should accept that reaction at the end of the game. If I walked over and did that to them there would be absolute uproar. So you do have to stay on the right side of it. I didn’t want to go through that today.”

“People are probably sick of me saying stick together,” he said. “I’m not sure if the turnaround hadn’t happened whether we’d have been taken over by the Piataks, who have an unbelievable spring in their step, a real energy to try and improve the football club.

“Now we’re in a position where the football club has got a brighter future. We have to ride through this little bit of a storm – probably the first storm we’ve had since February 2022. We have to get through to January, and players who are here stand up as well.

“If I think back to my first time at Carlisle United, when we got the CVA lifted, and we had a group of players who weren’t very good, simple as that. We had a horrendous run of defeats, then suddenly we could bring people like Andy Preece, Tom Cowan, Kev Gray, Kevin Henderson and Paul Arnison into the football club, and what that did, that actually made people like Matty Glennon and Peter Murphy and Chris Billy, it brought them up to a different level and showed them the levels they could get to.

“Now if we can add some strong personalities, players who could improve the squad, there’s a chance for some of the players we’ve got here to show the levels they’re capable of. Whether it’s going to be enough, we’ve just got to wait and see. The ability from us wasn’t good enough today, the work rate was – I don’t care what anybody says, I saw a group of players who worked hard enough, but just unfortunately weren’t good enough on the day.”

Read Time: 5 mins