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MANAGER: He's a real focal point

Paul Simpson on match winner Joe Garner

26 October 2023

Striker Joe Garner put in another excellent performance on Tuesday night, capped off with the winning goal when he latched onto a looped header from Terry Ablade.

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Speaking about his experienced forward after the game, manager Paul Simpson said: “I think Joe has been excellent. There was a period where I was concerned about his legs, but he’s done a fantastic job.

“Even when he isn’t scoring, he’s a real focal point for us and I thought he stuck to his job really well and he’s got his rewards with another goal. I’m delighted for him.

“We wrap him up in cotton wool and keep him off his feet for a couple of days after games and it’s working at the moment, so we’ve just got to stay with it.

“When JJ Kayode got injured in the Accrington game we wondered what we were going to do about it, because he is a big miss for us.

“The directors allowed us to push the boat out and bring somebody like JJ in, so to lose him was a big blow. Joe has stepped up to the plate and he’s doing a really good job for us, hopefully that continues.”

“I think in the first half we had 17 crosses into the box, but we only got first contact once, which was something we needed to be better at,” he added. “Terry Ablade has got a really good spring on him and Jordan Gibson has showed really good composure to clip it into the far post.

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“Whether Terry was aiming to lob it into the far post I don’t really care, but it was a really calm bit of football and thankfully Joe was there to get the winner.”

And his wasn’t the only good performance from a group of players who clicked in a very effective way.

“Sam Lavelle and Jon Mellish were absolutely outstanding, and Jack Armer has probably put in two of his best performances on Saturday and Tuesday night,” the gaffer concluded. “Fin Back was good again but unfortunately he got a dead glute, he got a kick up the backside, and it was a bit sore, so we took him off because he was struggling a bit.

“Everybody stuck to their job. Sean Maguire probably had one of his best games in terms of his link up play and his running, so there’s a lot of good things.

“We have to do that, if we’re going to get results in this league we need seven or eight of our players to be on top against their opponent, and we got that from Tuesday’s game.”

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