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MANAGER: We were just ruthless

More from Paul Simpson on the Saturday performance

26 February 2023

Club News

MANAGER: We were just ruthless

More from Paul Simpson on the Saturday performance

26 February 2023

A stunning first half performance against Crawley on Saturday was backed up by a solid second half display that saw the Blues register five goals for the second time this season, and the second time in the space of a month, as they came away with an impressive victory from the longest away trip of the campaign.

Match Reports


25 February 2023

“It was an emphatic result and an emphatic win,” manager Paul Simpson said. “The standard we set in the first half was outstanding, and that was without having real control of the game.

“We scored the goals because we were just ruthless with the way we went about it. I’m absolutely delighted with the end result, but I am disappointed with the two goals we conceded.

“I wanted a clean sheet, and that’s exactly what I said to them at half time. They’d done the work and I wanted them to get a clean sheet. They were two really sloppy goals to give away but, wow, what a big result. To score five goals away from home is some going.”

And there was no sense of empathy for the position Crawley were in as the team sniffed blood from the outset.

“You can’t feel sorry for them,” he commented. “We said to the players that they couldn’t feel sorry for them at all, and we heard a lot of talk about Carlisle United not liking the journey, because it’s a long way, but things like that are just an excuse.

“I talk about this all the time, the journey is fine, we just get on with it, and the way they went about it I was absolutely delighted with. We showed really good character, a real desire and I’ve just been told that we’re now second in the league so that’s a massive bonus. That kind of thing gives all of us a lift.”

With just one enforced change to the starting eleven from the Colchester win it appeared that the manager might be sending the players the message that the shirt is theirs to keep once they’ve got it.

“I am saying that now because this is where we’re at,” he told us. “Today we had 16 outfield players available and that’s all we’ve got. It’s actually annoying me that we keep losing players.

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"Thankfully the 16 who came out have all done really well. We were emphatic about the way we went about the first half. The level of performance and intensity they showed was outstanding.

“We got ourselves into a really good lead and we talked at half time about being ruthless in everything we did. I wanted us to make sure we did the basics properly, so this was a big win.

“To score five goals away from home gets us the win and keeps us moving nicely. We weren’t here to take a point. We knew that if we could go about it properly, and get about them, and make sure we were really energetic, we felt it was a game that was there for us to win.

“They are down at the bottom of the table for a reason, and it was up to us to do our jobs to make sure we got a positive result. They’ve beaten some good teams here and I didn’t want us to become the next one.

“We had high standards in the first half and, as daft as it sounds, it’s difficult to keep the same intensity in the second half sometimes. We saw flashes of it, we had plenty of transitions, we just weren’t as ruthless with them. I can’t really grumble about that because 5-2 away from home is a good performance.”

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And the fact of the matter is that it could have bene more then five scored with the chances created.

“I think about Joe Garner’s header at the far post, Omari puts one past the post, there was a chance to put Alfie in, there were a lot of different scenarios.

“The pleasing thing is we work on it in training, a lot of my sessions I do are around transitions and being clinical. Maybe today shows we need to keep working on it and be even better.

“Because between now and the end of the season, when teams are going gung ho and trying to get results, there will be opportunities to catch teams on the transition. 

“Second half we got a little bit sloppy and took our foot off it a little bit. And allowed them back with a couple of goals which is disappointing. But it’s a big, emphatic performance, and it’s against a team that would have been looking to get at us. 

“We said we have to start right, it was about the mentality – that was one of my big messages. Make sure we’re right. And if there’s any surprise results today in our league, it doesn’t involve us.

“We’ve maybe surprised people by scoring five away from home but I’ll take that surprise. The big thing now is we’ve got to keep going. We’ve got another really important game next weekend at home, we’ve got to be right and as ruthless as we were here.”

Backing the Blues a camel ride away from home were 500 plus noisy supporters.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “Absolutely brilliant support again and they’ve deserved the ovation that the players gave them at the end. I know it’ll make the journey a lot easier.

“I saw that people were flying down from Edinburgh, which is superb. Hopefully the journey is good for them, and I can’t thank them enough and praise them enough for making this journey down.

“Now we have to get them inside Brunton Park as well, let’s make Brunton Park a real noisy place, give ourselves a real fighting chance, firstly to generate more funds for the club to keep improving us, but also to give these players something to really go and perform in front of.” 

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