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Club News

MANAGER: It's a very good point

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday night draw

22 March 2023

Club News

MANAGER: It's a very good point

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday night draw

22 March 2023

United played their part in an entertaining draw at Valley Parade on Tuesday night, with the team enjoying the better of the first half before staying tight and doing the hard work through a tougher second 45 minutes.

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“Speaking after the game, manager Paul Simpson said: “I think it’s a brilliant away point. What a fantastic game of football between two teams who were slugging it out with each other.

“It’s such fine margins isn’t it, they hit the bar, but that shot from Gibbo at the end – I dread to think what the scenes would have been like if it had just nestled in the bottom corner, as I thought it was going to.

“I thought we showed incredible strength of character and a real strong personality to hold out through the pressure we came under in the second half. It’s a big point to take away, it really is.

“We dominated the ball in the first half but again we didn’t quite have the quality we needed in the final third. It just wasn’t happening for us.

“After the break they put us under a lot of pressure but the lads defended for their lives. Morgan, Mels and Ben were excellent.

“The block from Callum Guy to stop the shot on goal near the end is sheer desire to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Credit to the players for the way they’ve gone about that.

“We even made small professional fouls to kill the flow, and I don’t mind that, it’s not something I want all the time, but it shows a desire to want to win the game. This is a big point at a tough place to come.

“We did actually say to the players during the break that Bradford would get a spell, so we had to stay patient and make sure we kept our heads.

Club News

GALLERY: Images from the Bradford game

22 March 2023

“I thought the players did that well, they kept their heads really well and I do think it’s a good point. We came to win, don’t get me wrong, and we’d have gladly taken that shot at the end nestling in the bottom corner.”

It was very much a game that needed players who could adapt to the circumstances in front of them.

“Without a doubt that was needed,” he agreed. “In the second half especially, because they put us right under the cosh. They threw bodies forward and I’ve got to say, Cook is a proper handful isn’t he.

“Then they bring Oliver on and he was a handful. It was a tough night for us but thankfully we showed that defensive resilience we’ve got, players putting their body on the line making blocks, Tomas looking really calm and composed.

“There were a lot of good things in the second half to back up the really good football that we had in the first half.

“I’m still demanding that we’re a bit better when we get into that final third and make better decisions, better passes, shots, crosses, whatever it might be. If we do that we’ll certainly get back to scoring goals.”

Match Reports


21 March 2023

Indeed, it was a first half that had everything apart from the all-important goal.

“We kept getting them on the break,” he said. “When we talk about transitions we thought we could counter them, and that’s how it worked in that first half.

“In the second half it’s probably fair to say we didn’t, they had the lion’s share of it, but that one at the end from Gibbo when it opened up for him, I’m just hoping it nestles in the bottom corner and we all celebrate and go home happy.

“All that was missing in the first half was just a bit of desire to get shots off. I thought we turned the opportunity down to shoot too many times, but also just getting quality when we were in there, we didn’t quite have the quality to finish things off as well as we would have liked.”

In terms of support it was, as expected, a hostile home atmosphere with just over 1,200 away fans to counter that effort.

“Our support is absolutely outstanding,” he insisted. “They’re an absolute credit to the football club, they really are. The players put on a performance to keep them with us, it would have been so nice to go over and celebrate three points, but it wasn’t to be.

“The scenes if we had nicked it would have been unreal, but they were unreal anyway. They stuck with us again after another long journey and they’ve been magnificent this season.

“I hope we can achieve something for their sake. We want it to be a really good end to the season.”

“And the home fans, the majority of them are fantastic, but there were some idiots sat behind me who were saying things to me that were unacceptable,” he revealed. “I don’t agree with it. I can be called a City reject, I don’t mind all of that, but when they start saying other things I do think it’s out of order.

“I actually complained to a steward about it, because I’m not prepared to take that from people. These are fantastic supporters, but when you get young kids sat behind the dugouts with potty mouths, it’s not acceptable.”

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