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Interviews

MANAGER: They've got good individuals

Paul Simpson on today's game at Doncaster

1 January 2023

Interviews

MANAGER: They've got good individuals

Paul Simpson on today's game at Doncaster

1 January 2023

United head to Doncaster this afternoon knowing that they’re up against one of the fancied teams, but also looking to build on the positivity off the back of some excellent performances and results.

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“They’ve changed manager since we last played them and I still think they’ve got a good squad of players,” manager Paul Simpson said. “They’re a team who came down and I think they’ll be a bit disappointed with where they are in the table. I think they’re mid-table but they’re only five points behind us.

“We’ve got to make sure they’re eight points behind us at the end of the game and for that to the case we’ll need to do everything properly.

“We know it’s going to be tough because they’ve got good individuals. They’ve had a few injury problems and whatever else, so it’s a little bit hard to judge what they’ll go with.

“They changed their shape for the game on Thursday, but this is where it’s fortunate that we concentrate 90% on us and just touch on the opposition.

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“When we get the team sheet we’ll look at what we think they’ll do and what shape they’ll play, then we’ll make a few pointers to the players. In my mind though, it’s about us going and continuing what we did at Crewe.

“It’s about a mentality, desire and a work ethic. When you get those right, the football comes out on top as well, so that’s what we’ve got to do.”

“If you can be front foot and have a bit of energy about you, and win balls high up the pitch, it makes such a difference,” he added. “Something that has just come into my mind there was when Jordan Gibson closed down Rod McDonald and tackled him 30 yards out, he set Jack Stretton away to have a strike then he followed up.

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“It’s exactly that kind of thing that we need again. That sort of energy and positive thinking brings shots and if we do that there’s more chance of us getting a result.

“If we show the same energy and willingness to work as we have done recently I’m sure we’ll cause them problems. Our away record of late has been decent, but this is a really tough test for us. We have 23 games to go, so let’s see if we can keep the standards up.”

Today’s hosts were involved in a real ding dong of a battle on Thursday night, coming out on top of the right side of a seven-goal thriller with Rochdale.

“They had a really good reaction against Rochdale having had a bit of a turning over at Tranmere on Boxing Day,” he told us. “They picked up a good result even though they conceded three goals.

“We’ve watched the game and identified where we think we can cause them problems, if that’s what they go with. It really is about us and what we do, which is what we’ve talked about all season.

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“We’ll carry on the same way when we go down there today. It’s a difficult place to go anyway, they’re a club who I think would have expected to be higher in the table than they are at the moment.

“I really do think they have good individuals. Their wide players are a threat, Miller gets goals, and Agard who has been on the bench can turn games. They have midfielders who have energy and they’re very good from set plays, so we need to make sure we don’t give cheap ones away.”

His final word, as ever, was the travelling contingent.

“The away support we get is magnificent, the crowd the other night was excellent,” he commented. “It sounds like we might get 1,000 down at Doncaster so I hope they all have a good New Year’s Eve, then we can give them all a good day out in Doncaster. Let’s hope 2023 is a good one for us all.

“It makes such a difference when they come out and see it, then hear the noise as well. We enjoy playing at home, but we certainly enjoy our away days when we’ve got that following.

“What we have to do is make sure they still want us to go over at the end of the game because we’ve gone out and done it properly.”


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