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MANAGER: Pitch time was important

Paul Simpson on the Tuesday reserve game and with an injury update

16 March 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Pitch time was important

Paul Simpson on the Tuesday reserve game and with an injury update

16 March 2023

We caught up with United boss Paul Simpson after the Wednesday morning training session to get his thoughts on the midweek reserve game against Middlesbrough.

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“We got some good pitch time for a decent number of players and it’s really good to have those lads back pushing to get involved in the squad,” he said.

“We’re going to have some really good options over the next few weeks. We’ll have a stronger, bigger squad to choose from, which can only be a good thing.

“The boys who are playing at the moment are doing really well, so the ones on the fringes will have to work extremely hard to get in.

“We’ve got lots of games coming, we’ve got Tuesday games and the Friday-Monday games over Easter, so we’ll need them all.

“It’s then up to me to pick the right 11 and the right seven to give us options off the bench. We also hope the ones not involved in the 18 will stay together and keep doing the right things.

“I’ve given the whole group that message today, we’ve got seven weeks to go and if we can all stay together and do the right things when we’re inside and outside the club, we can make it a good end to the season.”

“Like I say, getting that pitch time is important for them all,” he continued. “You can do so much in training, but you can’t replicate a match situation.

“It was difficult conditions over there but it was a good run out against good opposition. A lot of the lads got 90 minutes under their belt which will do them good.

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“They needed it, there’s definitely a difference between training and matches. You can do the distances in training, it’s about getting the match practice and game understanding into the players.

“It’s been a really good week, everybody came through it ok and is ok today, so we just keep moving forward.

“Josh Dixon got his 45 minutes, Jamie Devitt and Ben Barclay did the full game, so that’s excellent for them in terms of their rehab and return to action.

“And the other lads were all topped up, which makes it a very good exercise.”

On the other injured players, he explained: “Tobi Sho-Silva is still in a boot so he’s at the start of his process. We will get a better idea of timescales once he starts to do more.

“Brennan Dickenson is continuing to run but he’s still a number of weeks away. Jack Ellis joined in part of the session today and I think he’s going to do the full session on Friday, with a view to joining in training next week. He’s going well and hopefully he’ll be ok.

“Fin Back is hoping to get some match minutes in a training game at Forest next week and he’ll then come back up to us the following week. There are a lot of positive signs and fingers crossed it stays that way.

“Players returning definitely adds to it and helps the group. I keep thinking about Jack Robinson and the effect he’s had on the group, a lot of people will look at it and say well he’s hardly played any minutes, but what he’s done is raise Jack Armer’s levels, and he’s now performing to a really good level. It’s about having competition to push each other on."


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