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MANAGER: I want to see a reaction

Paul Simpson ahead of the Tuesday night game

3 October 2023

The League One fixtures keep coming for United and it’s Peterborough United who head to Brunton Park on Tuesday night.

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“We need a reaction,” manager Paul Simpson said. “I’ve spoken to them and I’ve told them that this is the group we’ve got at this moment in time so they need to get prepared properly, get recovered properly and, if we do that, the game can’t come quick enough for me.

“I hope it’s the same for the players because obviously they were all very disappointed after Saturday. Whether we’d have deserved anything out of the game or not, or even if we could have hung on for anything is irrelevant.

“We had opportunities to get back to 1-1, we didn’t take them, and it’s something that we’ve got to deal with and address ahead of the Tuesday night fixture.”

“We’re at home and we have an ok record at home,” he continued. “Every game is going to be tough, and this next one will be as well. All I want to see is a reaction.

“I want to see some professionalism about us, which I don’t think we were in our last game, and Tuesday is our next opportunity to show it.

“We have to make being at home count as a big factor, it’s as simple as that. Wherever we go we have to make it difficult. We didn’t on Saturday, but we have another opportunity coming very quickly and it’s up to us to do it better.

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“Maybe the same level as we showed in the second half, but it’s the same message, we have to be clinical, that’s the biggest thing in football – getting somebody who can stick the ball in the back of the net, and we haven’t done it well enough so far this season.

“I think we’re creating chances in every game, but when you’re coming up against teams who are established at this level, and are used to playing even higher, you have to finish those chances.

“We’ve got players who can create and cause problems, we now need to just add that finishing touch in the 18-yard box.”

As for what we can expect to face from the visitors, he said: “It’s our next challenge and it’s a great game to look forward to. We have to be ready to show a determination, to actually show we want to stay in this league.

“We have to do everything we possibly can. I know it’s going to be tough, and a long season, but this is the group we’ve got and we’ve just got to keep working and showing a togetherness. If we do that we’ll be able to get enough points to give everybody more of a positive feel than we’ve got today. 

“It’s the nature of football, you have to find a way to get points. We’re ten games in and we haven’t got enough points, it’s as simple as that. We know if we carry on like we are we’re in serious trouble.

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“There’s a long way to go, 36 games, and we need to make sure we learn from what’s happened and we have to learn really quickly about what a great opportunity we have by being in this league.”

“We know it will be a tough game,” he explained. “But every game at this level’s going to be tough, with where we are. We just have to roll our sleeves up, get back to doing the basics better, and I’m sure if we do that it’ll be a good night for us. 

“We’ve assessed the Wycombe game, seen how everybody is, and it’s up to whoever gets selected  to start the game properly. We talk about it all the time, start on the front foot, start aggressively, take the game to the opposition, try and turn them round, create problems.

“We haven’t done that on Saturday, so Tuesday night we have to do it. We know there’s going to be a threat whoever the opposition is, so we have to start better.” 

There to back us, as ever, will be the fans.

“They’re outstanding, I keep talking about them all the time,” he said. “We just need the players to be better in different situations and then they’ll have even more to shout about.

“They’re really sticking with the players. Mind you, if we’d carried on like we played in the first half at Wycombe they probably wouldn’t have stayed with us.

“But I think they saw we tried to do things properly in the second half. They saw the effort the players put in, the determination they had. We now need to find that little bit of quality to go with the work rate we’re putting in.” 

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