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MANAGER: Thankfully it's not too serious

Paul Simpson on defender Paul Huntington

22 March 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Thankfully it's not too serious

Paul Simpson on defender Paul Huntington

22 March 2023

United boss Paul Simpson confirmed ahead of the release of the team news on Tuesday evening that defender Paul Huntington was missing with an injury sustained during last weekend’s home meeting with Stevenage.

Match Reports


21 March 2023

“He has a partial tear of one of his abdominal muscles, it’s classed as a 1b tear, so thankfully it’s not too serious,” he explained. “We’re hopeful that it’s going to be seven to ten days at worst, and there’s a chance he could be fit for this weekend.

“He wasn’t fit for this one, but we’ll wait and see how he goes. I don’t know what other issues we’ve got from Tuesday night’s game, more just tired legs, but I’d imagine everyone will want to be involved at Gillingham.”

It was Ben Barclay who got the nod to replace Huntington, with Kris Dennis and Ryan Edmondson for Joe Garner and Omari Patrick the other two starting changes on the night.

“We keep saying this to all of the players - you have to stay right,” he said. “It’s no big bind to ask people to do their jobs properly. All of the lads are doing that really well at the moment.

“They’re training well, they did it properly in the fixture over in Middlesbrough last week, and you can see players running on the pitch after games to keep topped up.

“We’re going to need everybody, and we go again on Saturday. That’s a lovely long journey down to Gillingham but a fantastic game to look forward to.”

“I have to say that I thought the back three were absolutely outstanding,” he continued. “Ben Barclay slotted in as if he’d never been away, Morgan Feeney was excellent against a real handful in Andy Cook.

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“He makes it a really difficult game for anyone. Morgs stood up to the challenge, and Jon Mellish covered it as well, and they kept his strikes to a minimum.

“I’d say that Jon Mellish stuck to his task. In the first half Jon was marauding down the left, second half he was a bit more restrained just because of the way the game was going, so credit to Mells for recognising that and doing his job.

“As for Ben Barclay, I’m absolutely delighted with him. There was a spell in the second half when I thought his legs were starting to go, but then he came through it.

“He’s had a tough season with his injuries, really tough, really unlucky. But he’s a real good character, very professional, so I had no hesitation in putting him in when Hunts wasn’t fit, and I thought he did a good job for us.”

Following a heavy tackle on defender Joel Senior, there was concern when he was substituted that the treatment room was going to get another visitor.

“There’s no injury, he was just absolutely shot to pieces,” the gaffer told us. “His legs had gone. Jack Robinson hasn’t had many minutes and I just said to Gav, ask him what he feels about going on at right wing-back, and without any hesitation he just went yeah, I’m doing it.

“That’s what you want - players who want to be involved. Jack’s done that. And I thought he did alright there in all honesty, he looked calm, he got on the ball, tried to create things. It was a full squad effort that got us a big point.”

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