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Club News

MANAGER: They were all good goals

Paul Simpson on Tuesday's clinical display

2 February 2023

Club News

MANAGER: They were all good goals

Paul Simpson on Tuesday's clinical display

2 February 2023

All five of United’s goals on Tuesday night were clinical and ruthless, either in their execution or the build-up, with manager Paul Simpson delighted with the manner in which his team had approached the game.

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“I think the springboard for us was that we were on the front foot,” he said. “We knew that it would be about winning second balls and we thought that if we put the balls on their centre backs they’d win the first contact, so we needed to be in areas to pick up the seconds.

“That’s what happened with our forward stuff and even on the other side of it, when the ball was going up to Bennett, our midfielders were in good areas to pick up anything that came off him.

“There were a lot of good things in and out of possession, and against a good side like Barrow if you beat them 5-1 you have obviously done some good things.

“The first goal came at a good time, and I think the timing of the second knocked the stuffing out of them.

“When you get a goal so close to half time against you like they did you want to come out for the second half and try to hit back. We just didn’t give them any opportunity to do that. We defended really well again, barring that little blip we had where they scored.

“We defended well as a team. Joe Garner did so well up front and it was great to get Omari Patrick back on. I thought Jordan Gibson put a hell of a shift in, and that’s three front players there who I’m talking about with the defensive side of the work they did.

“They then produce what they do up front and that’s what gets us the goals. When you have options to bring off the bench like Kris Dennis, who is now on 18 for the season, that’s some asset to have.

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“John-Kymani Gordon came on and showed an incredible turn of pace to get in for the penalty so, yeah, these options are good.

“I wanted to get Jack Robinson on, and he was going to come on but I was angry that we’d conceded and I didn’t want to look like I was taking the mickey a little bit. It was more just about trying to give him some minutes, but those who were on contributed to a really big win.”

A first goal on his first start for the club on his fourth spell back at the club for Joe Garner was also just what the doctor ordered.

“That’s why we’ve brought him here,” the gaffer told us. “He knows the game, he knows football and he’s got a calm approach about him.

“I thought they tried to do their very best, particularly on the sidelines, to get Joe carded tonight and get him in trouble, but he was as calm as anything.

“He was brought down on a few occasions but he picked himself up and got on with it. He didn’t get wound up by anything and he showed his experience. I’m really pleased for him and I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve got him with us.

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“As for Kris Dennis, his first target is to get to 20 and hopefully he’ll keep going. There is a real determination in there to keep going. There’s no resting on what we’ve done so far.

“We’ve gone third in the table and we’ve got to make sure that we carry it on. I’ve been in football for so long and I’ve seen too many occasions where you have a really good home performance on a Tuesday and it falls flat on its backside on a Saturday.

“We don’t want that. We’ve given the home fans something to go home happy about on a really tough night. Hopefully we’ll get them all coming back again this weekend, maybe even some more, and we keep pushing ourselves forward.”

And the Cumbrians are now the division’s top scorers by a healthy margin of six.

“That’s good, but I’ll say this again, I wanted a clean sheet from this game,” he insisted. “We didn’t get it so there are definitely things to work on and improve on. We have to be ruthless.

“When you’re at 4-0 and you make a mistake it’s ok, well it’s not ok, but you can cover it up. We just have to make sure we keep going.

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“If we’d done what we did for the penalty where we just put our foot through it and turn them round, then it’s a 5-0. There were a lot of good things but still areas where we need to be better.

“To be fair, at half time the message from the players as well as us as staff was, let's not settle for one. Let's go and get the second goal and let's get the third goal and be ruthless.

“And I think, when you've got good players, you can do that. And these I've got to say, these are good players and they've got a good attitude towards it.”

“It’s important that we look to back this up now,” he continued. “We've got to make it count. We've just got to be absolutely ruthless in what we do and not rest on what we've done so far, because it doesn't count for anything.

“I've said it before, we're nearly into February, but you don't get ewards in February. You get them in May. And we've got to make sure we keep going right through to the end.

“We know we're going to have a blip. We know it's not going to go plain sailing right through to the end of the season. We've got to be resilient enough to deal with any little blip that comes our way, but make sure that blip doesn't come for a long time.

“We have to deal with the emotion of it. That's what professional football is all about. You've just got to dust yourself down and go again. And I think they will because I think there's a desire in there to keep it going.

“You know, there's so much to be achieved if we keep going. We've given ourselves a brilliant chance. And I think as a group of staff and any players that were here last year, they know what it's like at the other end of the table as well.

“So we've got to enjoy being here. And that was the thing I said to them. Embrace the crowd, embrace the opportunity to go third. I don't think there's any doubt that they embraced that in this game.”  

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