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MANAGER: They're first in the dressing room

Paul Simpson on selection headaches

18 January 2023

The competition for places at Brunton Park is a factor that bodes well for the remaining 21 games with new arrivals and players returning from injury mixed with those who have featured regularly – a situation which leaves the manager with some tricky selection dilemmas.

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“The challenge we’ve got between now and the end of the season is to try to keep everybody happy,” he agreed. “We want to keep them all happy, but we can only ever pick 18.

“I had a chat with Jayden Harris before the game because he’s unfortunate to be one of the ones who missed out on Saturday.

“I didn’t think he did a lot wrong two weeks ago, and I see him as more of a bit of a long-term project for us. Hopefully he’ll continue to develop, but I don’t like leaving anybody out.

“I see him as somebody who’s here for the long haul and I hope we can keep working and he can stay with us. I think he’s shown a brilliant attitude.

“We’ve talked about JK coming here from London, and Jay’s done the same. He’s come up and within a couple of months he’s already got himself a place to live up here, he’s not just relying on the club houses, and that’s what I want.

“I want people to come and settle into the area and feel part of the club and the city. He’s one I hope will get better.”

“What I will say is that this is a great group,” he continued. “Even when there are players who will miss out, they’re together with it.

“On Saturday those who weren’t picked were the first in the dressing room to congratulate everybody when they came back in. That’s fantastic to have.

“There’s no issue at the moment and we just need to keep everybody going.”

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