MANAGER: Put it behind us

A theme of this season from the United first team group has been the calm approach adopted for every situation – positive or negative – which has helped to keep feet on the ground and focus in the minds.

Manager Paul Simpson spoke again after the Harrogate game about the need to be analytical, but also on the need to remember why the team is currently third in the table with 29 games played.

“I get the frustration because I’m having to tell myself not to get screwed up at the moment, because it’s not easy to do after a defeat where you feel you could have got something,” he said.

“I’m disappointed for everybody, but the truth is it’s a game of football and it’s the next opportunity that we’ve let slip by. We just have to make sure we don’t let too many more slip by.

“But we can’t let it weigh us down. You’ve just got to keep nice and calm about it. It's just an unfortunate event that led to us losing a game we really wanted to win.

“We knew what was at stake. We knew we had an opportunity to really cement our third place in the table. Now we've given Northampton a bit of a leg up and I don't know who their game in hand is, but they've obviously got to go and win it.

“To keep giving ourselves a chance we have to put this behind us and make sure we get on another run.”

“When you look back aside from the frustration, you see we did actually play some good football and we created some good openings,” he continued.

“We were up and around the 18-yard box a lot, to be fair, but it wasn’t quite working for us, for whatever reason. We’ve just got to dust ourselves down and accept that we will all go away feeling disappointed.

“I still will say that if we’d been offered third in the table after 29 games we’d have certainly snapped hands off for it. We’ve given ourselves a good fighting chance.

“Yes, we now know that Northampton can go above us with that game in hand, but as we found out against Harrogate, no game is a foregone conclusion.

“Everybody is scrapping for their lives for all different reasons, so we have to get ready to go to Wimbledon and make sure we scrap for everything there.”

“The frustration will be there every time we think about this game up until we get our next win,” he told us. “But I won't let it affect the week.

“We'll still review the game and highlight any areas where we think we need to improve with the players. But the players all know how I work. There'll be no sulking.

“We've done absolutely brilliant as a group, everybody, as a football club, even. We've all done really, really well to be where we are and we've worked hard to get here, so we've got to work hard to stay here.

“These things happen and you have to remember that the players are human beings, aren't they? They're not robots, so you can just switch them on and they go and perform day in, day out with the exact same thing.

“It doesn't happen that way. I tried to freshen it up and to change it on Saturday, and it just was one of those games.

“And I don't know whether a different team would have given a different performance and got a different result. It's always easy to think about that after the game.

“But before the game I looked at our team and thought if we were right, we had enough to win the game. It just didn’t go that way for us.”

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