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MANAGER: Doing everything we possibly can

Paul Simpson on the togetherness in the group

25 May 2023

It took gaffer Paul Simpson all of a nano-second to agree to our request to film and publish his post-match team talk last Saturday – a clip that went viral due to the raw emotions it captured.

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Speaking this week about his starring role, the manager said: “Look, it’s a really tight-knit group. I’ve said this before, but every time we come in from a home game the lads who aren’t involved in the game are always there in the dressing room.

“There’s a real spirit about it. My only disappointment about that video going out was the fact that I swore on it and let my emotions go too far, so I apologise for that.

“The lads want success together and, if we can achieve it, it’ll be fantastic for everybody involved. Not just the players, but the staff, the office staff and everybody involved in the football club.

“We’ve all got so much to look forward to and I really want it to be a successful day for us.”

And mixed with the players who are experiencing this type of thing for the first time is a crop who have, a factor that could help come the day of the game.

“I think over the whole season the experience of people like myself, Gav, Gez and Greg has helped, and the experiences of the other lads has helped the others as well.

“It’s not a case of one particular person doing a job, it’s everybody. I’m sure there are young players in that changing room who can be helpful to somebody else, and I think that’s the good thing in there.


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“We’ve got a group of players who all understand other people’s needs. There are times where somebody needs to be left on their own to get their thoughts together and there are times where somebody needs to have a conversation.

“I think that’s where what we’ve learned about each other has really helped. We’re still learning, but I think those experiences will help us all help each other this weekend.”

Young or old, and as was stated in that video, nobody wants to be there just to make up the numbers.

“I think it’s always a different feel to a play-off final,” he insisted. “Unfortunately I’m talking from experience here because there’s nothing for second place in these games.

“When you go to a cup final you get a runner up medal and you still make the walk up the steps. As a play-off loser, there’s nothing.

“Wembley is about winning, nobody remembers who loses in play-off finals. We have to do everything we possibly can.

“There’s no guarantee that just because we’re going with a positive attitude that we will win, and that’s why we have to do everything to find a way to achieve it.”

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