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Club News

MANAGER: A proud parent moment

Paul Simpson on Tuesday's important engagement

20 October 2023

Club News

MANAGER: A proud parent moment

Paul Simpson on Tuesday's important engagement

20 October 2023

Manager Paul Simpson missed the Tuesday reserve game with Blackpool due to a prior and, it has to be said, extremely important engagement with his son Dominic opening for the first time as one of the headline performers in Moulin Rouge that night, in London’s West End.

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“I’ve had a really positive week this week with Dom’s opening night at Moulin Rouge,” he said. “I missed the game on Tuesday for selfish reasons, I accept that, but you don’t often get a chance to see your son open Moulin Rouge on the West End.

“I was there and it was a definite proud parent moment, I was chuffed to be there. Without a doubt with things like this sometimes you just have to pinch yourself.

“It’s incredible and I can relate it to football as well. Dom spent just under two years in New York on Broadway as an understudy to the lead in Book of Mormon.

“He had to sit every single day ready to go and perform. He had to warm up then go back to his dressing room and sit and wait in case anything happened to the guy who was playing Elder Price.

“He waited for months and months, ready for it. Then one day he got a knock on the dressing room door towards the end of Act 1 saying Nick, the lead, had been sick, so he was going on at the start of Act 2.

“That’s how I relate it to football. All of our lads who had to play at Penrith this week, or went to Wigan, Blackburn, Middlesbrough and played against Forest, they have to be ready.

“It’s a similar thing to being an understudy. Dom had to do it for 18 months, nearly two years, then had to go and perform in front of 1,500 people who had paid money to go and see the show.

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“That’s how I relate it, it’s a good example of being a professional. I looked at what he went through in New York and now he’s got that opportunity.

“I hope players understand that it’s not a real hardship to be out of the side, but you’ve got to make sure you’re ready. I hope there’s a chance that comes up for them and they’re ready to go and take it – just like Dom has.”

Switching the focus from the limelight to the Penrith floodlights, he commented: “It was a good performance in patches. Like I say, I wasn’t there, but I’ve watched the video back.

“The first thing is that it was pleasing to get a win and get some goals. It was a great finish from Dan Butterworth for the first goal and Terry Ablade was in the right place for the other two.

“The one where he goes through and drills it past the keeper is a great finish, but his second is a tap-in after the keeper makes a save, which isn’t lucky, it’s about being in the right place at the right time.

“There were a lot of good things, it was good that some of the lads got 90 minutes because that’s important and I think, looking at the physical data, they need games, they need to be fitter.

“We’re finding that this is a real tough league we’re competing in at the moment and we need everybody to be up to speed and be able to deal with a 90 minute League One fixture.

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“If we want to be successful we’re looking at anywhere between 10km and 12km in a game. When you fall away from that, like we did against Orient, there’s a good chance you aren’t going to win.

“For me, that’s why we’ve got to get a group of players who are capable of doing that, so Tuesday will certainly have helped that.”

“I’m not going to sit here and say it was brilliant, because it wasn’t brilliant,” he continued. “We were playing against a young development side from Blackpool who started the game really well and caused us problems.

“We settled into it and got ourselves ahead because of a great strike from Butts. We then got into a comfortable position at 3-0, then we fell away, which tells me the fitness levels aren’t quite there.

“I know there were changes and younger players coming on, but it’s not all about that, it’s about the senior players making sure they continue to do it properly.

“There were some good things out of it, definitely, and it was a vast improvement on some of the other performances we’ve had. There’s still a way to go to get to where we want to be.”

And needing everybody to be ready comes into real focus when you consider that there are three games to play over the course of the coming eight days.

“We’ve got to cope with it,” he said. “When you look at the run of fixtures we’ve got coming up, there are some brilliant games to look forward to.

“As a footballer, if you can’t get up for that, then we’ve got serious problems. We’ve got a really good rack of games coming and we’re going to need everybody.

“This weekend we have 17 outfield players fit and ready to go, so everybody is going to be needed over this next run.”

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