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Club News

MANAGER: The players are feeding off it

Paul Simpson on the players feeding off the positivity

26 January 2023

Club News

MANAGER: The players are feeding off it

Paul Simpson on the players feeding off the positivity

26 January 2023

The atmosphere at Brunton Park on Tuesday night was beyond electric, with players feeding off the fans, and vice-versa, and with 20 games left to go it all looks very healthy indeed, with a real positive feeling around the place.

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“You take confidence from winning games, that’s always how it is,” manager Paul Simpson said. “But, I have to admit, it doesn’t seem any different today to how it felt last Monday.

“It just seems like there’s a good feeling about the place, there’s a good spirit in the dressing room and I hope there’s a determination to want to keep it that way as well.

“When we get this place rocking, with the fans really doing their bit, it’s a good place to be. At the moment it’s good for us all, and we’re seeing that with the numbers who have responded and who are travelling away with us as well.

“It’s a proper atmosphere and the players feed off that. Whatever comes first, whether it’s the fans who lift it, or the players by what they do, I don’t really care. Let’s just keep doing it.”

So are chests puffed out and up in the corridors and inside the dressing room?

“I’m certainly seeing a lot of smiles and players who are determined to stay part of it, and also others who want to get into the 18,” he said. “That’s all we can ask of them. What I don’t want is an arrogance to it or a cockiness to it, I want everyone to stay calm and keep doing the hard work that makes it happen.

“We go and treat teams and people with respect, and if we win we stay respectful of the opposition, as I hope other teams will be to us if they win.

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“I keep repeating that if we do our jobs the rest of it takes care of itself. People are highlighting that if we win and Northampton lose this and that will happen, but there are too many ifs and buts.

“We have to approach it with the mentality that Northampton don’t affect our game, and I actually don’t even know where they are this weekend.

“That’s how much I’m focused on who we play and what we’ll do to be at them. We have to do our jobs, it’s a simple message, but an important one.

“I said this the other day, I want us to go on a proper run of victories. I don’t want a stop-start where we win one or two then have to wait after a bad one. I want to see consistency, and now is the time to hit it.”

And the stats charts - with Kris Dennis joint top with 16 league goals, Owen Moxon featuring weekly for assists and chances created, and others for tackles completed, passes completed, and whole host of other positive stuff – suggest that the consistency required is within touching distance.

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Add to that the fact that 42 league goals scored is currently the best in the division.

“I didn’t actually know that, but that’s brilliant,” he told us. “We’ve been consistent with that and I know everybody talks about Denno, and rightly so with his record, but we’re chipping in from elsewhere as well.

“That’s pleasing for us. I would have loved Joel to have scored the other night, but I think he was already seeing his name in lights when he broke through, and he was maybe celebrating before he took the shot.

“We’ve just got to keep everybody right, tick each one off they come, and make sure we keep moving forward.

“The other pleasing thing is that it’s only Orient who have beaten us at home, and they had the help of four officials on that particular day.

“We’ve had two apologies from that game for not getting a penalty and a goal, so who knows, things might have been different had the big decisions been correct.

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“We’ve had a good record at home and we need to make sure we keep working hard, home and away, to see where it takes us.

“This weekend is another tough game against a side that’s fighting for their lives, and they won’t like being bottom of the table. It’s a game to look forward to.

“We do what we did with Hartlepool, respect the opposition and make sure we take the belief that we earn from our recent run into the games to come.”

And that demand for three on the bounce is one he continues to lay down as a challenge to the group.

“This is where its different because years and years ago it was two points for a win and it would stay close for a really long time,” he explained. “Now it’s three points, so if you get a run of three or four you’re suddenly opening gaps.

“It makes a big difference. I’m pleased that we’ve had so many draws that weren’t defeats, but it would have been so nice to have taken wins from the draws where we know we had the chances to do that.

“Those extra two, four, six or whatever points could be a difference when we talk about ifs and buts at the end of the season.

“Having said that, I’m certainly not complaining about where we are. We’re ahead of where I thought we would be at this stage, but whether we’re ahead of where the players would feel we should be, I just don’t know.

“Their challenge is to make sure we stay at least in fourth place and, who knows, can they take us even higher.”


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