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MANAGER: He wanted to stay on

Paul Simpson on Josh Emmanuel, Sam Lavelle and Tomas Holy

27 November 2023


MANAGER: He wanted to stay on

Paul Simpson on Josh Emmanuel, Sam Lavelle and Tomas Holy

27 November 2023

Paul Simpson handed Josh Emmanuel a United debut on Saturday - and was delighted with the impact made by his new recruit.

"I was a bit concerned about Josh because of his lack of matches since last season but I thought he was excellent," said the Blues boss.

"What a fantastic start for him and he looks like an excellent player. 

"I was a little bit greedy because I was thinking just 60 minutes today to get him through it but I think it ended up being 70. 

"He wanted to stay on, but we have to be careful with him and I want him available for Tuesday."

"It’s probably fair to say after the first training session I thought, he’s got to be signed," he continued.

"I had a picture in my mind of what he was like - the challenge comes when they get in training and doing all the football stuff. 

"He kept telling me I’m a naturally fit lad and all this sort of stuff and you think yeah, I’ve seen that before in some trialists as such coming in, and they’re not naturally fit lads - but he is."

Emmanuel's performance on the right flank was one of a number of impressive individual displays, and it was fellow defender Sam Lavelle who earned the Vesta Wealth Man of the Match award after finding the net against his former club.

It was the centre back's first goal since arriving at Brunton Park from Charlton in the summer - and not before time, according to his manager.

"It's ironic he's scored against his old club given the chances he's had for us," said Simpson.

"When I congratulated him at the end he said 'yeah, it's about time' and it was. 

"But that's the first and that's always the hardest to get so it will give him a huge boost and got us a point out the game and something to go into Tuesday night with."

Simpson also praised stopper Tomas Holy for a commanding performance that included a couple of smart stops to keep the Addicks at bay.

But while pleased with numerous individuals, the manager knows there has to be more to come.

"I thought maybe we had a little bit of luck because there was a couple of little ricochets that came back into his [Holy's] hands," he admitted.

"He came and took a lot of crosses in the first half and dealt with corners and free-kicks. That side of it was really good, but I do think there were a lot of good individual performances. 

"I also accept that we can be better and we need to be better, but all in all it's been a decent end to what has been a really eventful week."

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