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Club News

MANAGER: A different sort of challenge

Paul Simpson on our amazing support and on building on Tuesday night

6 October 2023

Club News

MANAGER: A different sort of challenge

Paul Simpson on our amazing support and on building on Tuesday night

6 October 2023

The change of formation on Tuesday night was, manager Paul Simpson explained, based on the opposition and tactical needs of the day.

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Bolton

6 October 2023

“It was a system that I wanted to play for that particular game,” he told us. “I’m not saying that’s the system to go forward.

“I thought everybody who was involved, particularly in the starting line-up, went about it really well. Some of the changes were made to freshen it up, then when we were a goal down we went a little bit gung-ho to try and get ourselves back in it, which worked.

“I was pleased with the shape, and when we’ve changed to a 4-3-3 recently I was also pleased with it. I didn’t have it in my mind that it was the long-term solution for us, it will be game to game.

“This weekend is a different sort of challenge, and hopefully we’re able to put a group together who will rise to that challenge.

“One of the changes was the keeper, and I thought Tomas came in and did really well. We need to have competition. In my opinion, we don’t have enough competition in our group, and we need more.

“It’s not a case of these ones aren’t good enough, but we need strong competition in every area of the pitch. Thankfully in the goalkeeper department we’ve got three lads there who are all wanting to play.”

And the game ending in the way it did can never be a bad thing.

“It’s a mental thing,” he said. “You can’t stick it in a bottle and let them all have a little sip of it, but we have to take the feeling we had and use that.

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“I think there are times when you have a negative where you use that to make sure you don’t feel like that again, and this is a positive to make sure we do everything to try and make that back again.

“I think it’s one of those things of momentum. If we’re going into the Bolton game on the back of another defeat after the Derby and Wycombe ones, it does your head in a little bit.

“But going into it off the back of how we finished the game, and not just that, but some of the bits of football we played against Peterborough as well.

“It’s in terms of how we defended as a team, how we pressed as a team, how we passed the ball as a team, we can take those bits of positive momentum into the next game as well.”

There’ll be a huge United following of close to 5,000 doing their bit to keep the momentum going as well.

“It certainly gives you a boost to see that,” he said. “I remember as a player coming out when we’ve had good support, whoever I was playing for.

“It makes a difference, gives you a real lift. I’ll be honest, it shouldn’t make you want to work harder, because I only want them to give 100 per cent anyway, they can’t give any more than that.

“But it certainly gives you something to go for. I always say to the players, just get a vision in your mind of the end of the game when you’ve got a positive result, going and thanking them – that’s what we have to use to drive us on and inspire us on Saturday. 

Match Previews

REF WATCH: Seb Stockbridge

5 October 2023

“This is reminding me of my days when we were in the Conference. The support we took to places like Leigh RMI, Northwich, was absolutely incredible. The supporters have been brilliant for us, can’t fault them this season.

“As much as I’m disappointed with where we are in the league table, and what’s gone on so far in League One, I’m not disappointed with the supporters. 

“I was so pleased that we had over 6,000 on Tuesday night after a horrible afternoon with the weather, which might have put a few off.

“It’s brilliant to have so many going down to Bolton, I think it will be a few years since our fans have been there. We have to make sure we do everything we can so that at the end of the game when we go over to thank them, they’re still celebrating.

“We have to make it a good day. It’s only a good day in my mind if we get the performance and the result right. It will be brilliant to see them down there, I’m certain they’ll be making a lot of noise and making sure everybody at Bolton knows they’re here.

“I hope they all have a good day and a peaceful day and we all come away with something from the game.”


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