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Club News

MANAGER: I trust all of them to do their jobs

Paul Simpson on team selection

20 February 2023

Club News

MANAGER: I trust all of them to do their jobs

Paul Simpson on team selection

20 February 2023

Manager Paul Simpson had hinted during his weekly pre-match press conference that there would be changes to the starting line-up for the visit of Colchester, and that’s exactly what he did with four new faces in from the midweek home game against Mansfield.

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“It’s something I’m comfortable with doing if I feel it’s needed,” the gaffer told us. “I trust all of them to go out and do their jobs, without a doubt. That doesn’t come into question, but you do wonder if it will work out when you do it.

“Colchester made five changes to their starting eleven, and I know two of them were enforced with Chambers and Tchamadeu, so that was a little bit of a surprise when we got their teamsheet.

“Fortunately we focused on us and we knew we needed a positive reaction after Tuesday. Thankfully we got that and we’ve got ourselves going again.

“If there are changes it still needs everybody to do their bit. I said it in the team meeting before the game.

“The seven who's been selected for the bench, you have to be ready because there's every chance that there could be up to five of you going to be used and you have to be ready to come and finish the game off. And that's certainly what they did.

“Players showed that they’re determined to do their bit. I thought Corey was excellent, he works hard every day and he filled in for us in a position that isn’t his favourite.

“JK came on and worked the line well and got us moving forward, but the runs he made didn’t quite come off for him.

“I thought Jordan Gibson got us up the pitch and caused problems, and he needs to do that consistently to keep pushing and keep forcing us to include him.

“There was some really good stuff as a full group, and I said before the game, it’s going to take all 18 of us and I think all 18 showed that they were together.”

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Missing from the 18 as part of the shuffle was defender Joel Senior.

“He isn’t injured at all,” Simmo confirmed. “He trained fully, and it’s my decision to change things if I see fit.

“People have to understand that I pick a team for a particular game because I think it's the right team. Last Tuesday, with hindsight, I didn't get it right because the result tells us that.

“Joel is fine, he’s just got to work, keep himself right and wait for his next opportunity. He could have been a sub but it's about finding the right mix on the bench, and Joel covers one position.

“We have players who cover different positions and, especially at home, you're thinking of having forward options and that's the way that I choose the bench really.   

“I also wanted Jack Ellis back in the side, and hopefully we can keep Jack fit. Joel will possibly get another chance, he’s just got to be patient and wait for it.

“Jack is another good option and he certainly hasn’t let us down. He was absolutely shattered by the time we made the change. His legs were tightening up at half time, but it was a case of getting as much out of him as possible.

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“He’ll be better for however long he was on and he’ll be better for another week of training, and hopefully he can stay fit for next weekend.

“He’s a young lad, he hasn’t had injuries before, so he doesn’t know where he’s at with all of that. When you’re young and have an attitude like his you can keep going and it certainly helps to take you a long way.”

And also into the eleven was forward Joe Garner, who was the pick for man of the match for many who attended the game.

“He kept going, he worked his socks off, and I thought that was the same with Omari Patrick,” he agreed. “I actually said to the fourth official early on that I didn’t really know what it is about Joe, but can you explain why he doesn’t get free kicks.

“There are definitely times where I think he deserves it. I’ve been really impressed with his discipline and calmness when he’s getting smashed all over the place and not getting free kicks. He just picks himself up, dusts himself off and goes again.

“My memory from that game, a game where he did a lot of good forward work, is that recovery tackle he made. It was a crunching tackle, after running back to help the defence, and the ball spills out and goes to Tomas.

“He was left on the floor trying to stretch his hamstrings because he was getting cramp. We’d already made the decision to change him at that point, so it was a case of getting him off before anything bad happened.

“You need determination to come out on top in situations like that and Joe brings that. I thought everybody worked incredibly hard and that has to be the base we have.

“It has to be where we start every game from. We needed that win, and I’m going to give credit to the supporters as well because they could tell we were getting nervy in that second half.

“They stepped it up for us, the players responded, and you have to accept that after a spanking like Tuesday night there will be nerves. You want to see yourselves over the line and the fans did their bit in helping us with that.”

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