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MANAGER: We have to move on quickly

Paul Simpson on putting the weekend to bed

27 March 2023

The manner of Saturday’s performance and defeat was such that manager Paul Simpson admitted that a bit of soul searching was required with a return to winning ways the top priority.

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“Everybody has to, it doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber or an electrician, if you make mistakes you have to look at yourself,” he said. “We’ll all have to look at ourselves because we haven’t been good enough against a side who are playing with real momentum.

“We tried to pick a team to stop the ball coming forward at source, and we weren’t able to do that. We tried to pick a team with an attacking threat, but we weren’t able to do that.

“We’ve got players in the side who can pass the ball but we didn’t do that well either. Maybe to start with I picked the wrong side, then the players who were selected haven’t gone and done it.

“I include the finishers in that, we didn’t get any impact from them. Maybe Jordan Gibson when he first game on, but we had no impact to be able to affect the game.

“We have to move on quickly, we can’t change it now. We’ll dust ourselves down, it’s disappointing because we had really good support who have made the long journey, but we haven’t done ourselves justice.

“I know for a fact that nobody intended to let anybody down, so I’m not saying we’ve let them down, but we haven’t done ourselves justice, and that’s the biggest disappointment.”

And the demand with a return to the form that took the club up to second spot is coupled with a desire not to allow the chance that’s been created to simply disappear.

“I hope not,” he told us. “We’re in a great position whether we’re being chased or being the chaser, and when you get opportunities in football you have to grab them.

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“They come few and far between and you have to make the most of them. Sadly we’ve let one go, it’s one game ticked off that we’ve allowed to slip away from us, and we have to dig deep and go again now.

“There’s going to be loads of twists and turns, there’s eight games to go and there’s probably going to be eight twists and turns.

“Who knows, if we’re good enough to stay in there and get a play-off place then there might be two or three more twists and turns. We’ve just got to dig deep now, and address the fact it was our worst performance of the season.

“It’s still in our hands, because we have Northampton to play. What I keep saying is that if we do our own job properly then it takes care of itself. If you don’t do your own job, then you’re going to get caught out, as we saw at Gillingham.

“We have enough games, there’s eight to go. There’s going to be loads of twists and turns, and we have to try to make sure we do what we can to make them go in our favour.

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“We can’t expect to get luck all the time. We have to address it and make sure we’re better for it. We haven’t become a bad side, we’re a good side, but we have to show it, not just say it.”

“You’ve just got to go again haven’t you,” he concluded.  We have some fantastic games coming up, we have Northampton to play, Stockport, Salford, Orient, and we’ve got to grab hold of this opportunity and not let it slip. 

“It’s only one defeat in seven and it’s a little kick up the backside for us. I don’t actually think we needed a kick up the backside, but we have to treat it as that and make sure we come back better.

“You get judged over 46 games, not 37, certainly not after 38 either. I don’t suppose however many, 400-odd supporters enjoyed Saturday, I certainly didn’t, I just hope I enjoy more between now and the end of the season.” 

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