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Club News

MANAGER: I think the players were outstanding

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday night game

4 October 2023

Club News

MANAGER: I think the players were outstanding

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday night game

4 October 2023

We spoke to manager Paul Simpson about what was a dramatic evening at Brunton Park as a late Jordan Gibson strike found its way into the bottom corner to earn the Blues a point.

Match Reports


3 October 2023

“I think we deserved a point out of that game,” he told us. “The first half was tough, they started like a house on fire and I believe they’re the best team we’ve faced this season.

“I thought that going into the game and I had to be really careful with what I showed the players before the game because we could have scared them if I’d shown them too much.

“With the pace they’ve got they’re a real handful. They started well but we stayed with the game and we defended really well as a team.

“I picked a shape that I felt would cause them problems and would give us a good solid base. I think the players have been absolutely outstanding with the way they’ve gone about it and I’m so pleased we’ve taken a point out of it.

“We could, and maybe should, have had more. Particularly in terms of some refereeing decisions which changed the face of the game. All in all, I’m pleased with a point out of it.”

There were two, possibly three major penalty talking points – all of which could have been in favour of the Blues – with none of them given as the officials ignored the loud appeals.

“The two I’ve watched back are absolute certs, I’m sorry but there’s no doubt in my mind,” he insisted. “I’m afraid the referee will probably get a rollicking for that because they’re two big decisions, and at 0-0 they’re huge decisions.

“I’m led to believe there’s another on Jordan Gibson where he’s running across the box and he’s getting pulled back, but I haven’t seen that one yet, so I won’t comment on it.

“It’s a definite foul on Sean Maguire, definite. There’s no two ways about it. Then it’s such a clear handball from their right back, he’s got his arm outstretched, it hits his arm, it changes the direction of the ball as it’s coming onto Jordan Gibson’s chest.

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“They’re penalties, they’re really simple decisions I’m afraid. We’re hearing a lot about the problems the officials are having even when they’ve got the benefit of VAR, but I don’t think you need VAR for those, they’re straightforward.

“It’s a real shame because we could have got ourselves ahead, whether people think we deserve to be ahead because of the way Peterborough played is irrelevant.

“We hung in, we defended, and if everything had been fair we would have got that opportunity to take a penalty at 0-0. Unfortunately we didn’t get it.”

Did he get the chance to speak to the fourth official during the game?

“He said there was no contact on both occasions,” he explained. “For the second one the referee put his whistle to his mouth to blow it then pulled it away for whatever reason.

“You can’t speak to them, you just can’t. I was just trying to count up before and I think I got to five, there might be others but I can’t remember them off the top of my head.

“If it does even up over the season then we’ve got some good luck coming, but I want it now. I thought we deserved it tonight because of the way we went about it.

“I’m really pleased with the level of performance from everybody and the way they’ve all worked. They’ve stuck to the plan and we didn’t have a long time to prepare for it because of the quick turnaround.

“I thought they stuck to their job really well and thoroughly deserved something out of the game.”

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Another area for discussion was the red card shown as the players, staff and officials headed for the tunnel at full time.

“I didn’t actually hear what was said, so I’m going to go and speak to the officials,” he told us. “I know it was Dave Timmins who was sent off, but I don’t know what was said.

“He tells me he didn’t swear, he just said it was two clear penalties, so I think it’s poor if that is all he’s said, but I haven’t spoken to him. One of the things you have to have to be a good team is discipline. Unfortunately Dave just lost his discipline at the end with frustration.

“When I went and spoke to the ref at the end he looked terrified, I think he knows he’s made two huge mistakes and I know how the PGMOL system works, if they do their jobs properly he could be in trouble.

“The problem I find is that the fourth official is jumping up and down and trying to take the enjoyment out of football, stopping people celebrating and being happy. Surely we’re all in football to be happy and to enjoy moments like that.

“Because if we can’t, we probably should get out of it. I know Dave was angry because we felt as though there was an injustice against us. That’s human nature. There’s probably a different way that you have to deal with it and not get red carded, but I have to wait and see what’s been said.” 

On the way the team finished to get the point, he commented: “You’ve got to show desire, character, a bit of not just getting carried away and going thrashing at things, you’ve got to have a bit of composure.

“I think Jordan Gibson’s shown that over the last few weeks. I thought as a team, I don’t know the timings, but we had a spell at the end of the first half when we started to get the ball down.

“We shifted it side to side, we got into the final third, didn’t maybe get the breaks but we didn’t produce the quality either. Second half I thought we had good spells as well.

“You get a good delivery in and keep the ball alive for Sean Maguire to get brought down, then you have a good bit of play and it looks like Jordan Gibson’s going to take it on his chest in the box, defender knocks it away with his arm.

“We’ve had good bits of play, can’t comment on the third one where people are saying Jordan was basically pulled back. But I think the players have shown a real good desire, brilliant attitude, real determination to keep going right to the end and that shows character. Hopefully we can take that belief, character, personality into the next tough game.”

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