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MANAGER: I still think we're hunting the top two

Paul Simpson on having the right mentality

10 February 2023

The correct mental approach for the group, not just from individuals, can be one of the key factors for teams who are striving for success, with those in the promotion and play-off places there to be shot at as others chase the dream.


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But does being up there bring a change in mentality from when the team was chasing to make up the ground?

“It certainly is a factor, and it does change your mentality,” manager Paul Simpson told us. “But the truth is that it shouldn’t.

“The circumstances are still the same, we’re going into every game wanting to win, and we have an opposition that wants the same that we have to deal with.

“For me, I still think we’re hunting the top two. I’m not thinking about those teams who are hunting us down.

“I’m disappointed that Orient got a win at Crewe on Tuesday because that takes them three points further away. That’s just how my mentality works.

“I hope it’s the same for the players, and that they’re looking up as well. We have to feel that even though we’re in a good place we’re actually not satisfied with what we’ve done after 29 games, we have to be in the same place and therefore satisfied when it comes to the end of the season.

“That’s the real challenge. One of the hardest things is working to get to the top, but it’s even harder to stay there. We have to do enough to stay where we are, and that’s the challenge for the next 17 games.”

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And a quick glance at the League Two table shows that things are as tight as they could possibly be, with everyone down to at least 15th place within touching distance of involvement come the end of the season.

“It isn’t half tight, yeah,” he said. “You can go as far down as Tranmere, who are a really good side, and they can all be involved in it.

“I think Walsall have about three games in hand on other teams around them, so they can be pushing to get in there as well.

“There are a lot of teams just outside the play-offs who are more than capable of getting in there, so what we have to do is focus on ourselves as all of that is going on.

“We have to make sure we do our job properly, and if we win on Saturday we know that we’ll still be third.

“We may get closer to Stevenage and Orient, I don’t know, we can’t affect that until we play those teams. It really is a case of doing our own jobs properly.”

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