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Club News

MANAGER: Keep doing things properly

Paul Simpson on 16 clean sheets

23 March 2023

United’s clean sheet on Tuesday night took the current tally to 16, with four in the last six outings suggesting that there’s a certain level of determination to keep the late clean every time the team takes to the pitch.

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Speaking about the collective earning of the latest shut-out, boss Paul Simpson said: “I thought the forward players worked extremely hard out of possession, the midfielders put a shift in, the defenders were solid, and Tomas was out to claim things when he was needed.

“I really am delighted with the point. As I said at the weekend, I don’t go for this statement that it’s two points dropped, it’s not.

“We’ve come to a really tough place, with magnificent support behind us, and they’ve seen the effort this lot have put in. It’s been an immense effort and now we’ve got to get freshened up and ready to go again.”

A key moment in the game was when skipper Morgan Feeney got in the way of a goal bound Andy Cook effort, diverting it onto the woodwork.

“It was another example of putting their bodies on the line and that’s what we want from everybody,” the manager commented. “It’s what we expect, we’re in a fantastic position and we’ve got an opportunity we didn’t expect.

“To stay there we need to do things properly and make sure we do what we can to take that opportunity. Everybody did that and we’re going away with a good point.

“I know they’re on the back of three draws and they weren’t getting many wins before this game. This was a tough one and we thoroughly deserved a point out of it.

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“And it’s good that we’re now six unbeaten, and I think I’m right in saying it’s 16 clean sheets as well. We’re totting them up, we just haven’t managed to score for the last two games.

“I’m sure that will come back soon. If we can find that little extra bit of quality in the final third I think we’ll be scoring again.”

Expanding on the selection dilemmas up front, he said: “I thought we got into some really good areas out wide, through Jack Armer in particular.

“I felt Joel could have been a little bit more positive and been a bit more ambitious when he was one on one, but Mox got there and Alfie was excellent in the first half.

“Callum Guy controlled the midfield with the way he picked things up and moved the ball from side to side. There were a lot of good things to come out of the game.

“In the second half it was a different type of roll your sleeves up performance, put your head on a stick and defend for your lives.

“With the strikers we have available selection is a difficult one. Kristian Dennis as leading scorer has been patient, he’s kept doing things right, Ryan Edmondson’s got himself fully fit again now, and I’m delighted he’s back available for us.

“I just felt it was more a case of freshening it up with Omari and Joe going on the bench. JK Gordon will be frustrated that he’s not involved, but I just felt these pairings I’ve gone with were the right ones.

“Obviously the fact we haven’t scored goals, I can’t say it was 100 per cent right, but still think they’ve all done a job for the team.”

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