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MANAGER: It was a full performance

More from the manager on the weekend win

8 October 2023

Club News

MANAGER: It was a full performance

More from the manager on the weekend win

8 October 2023

United put on their best performance of the season to claim their first three points on the road at Bolton on Saturday, with manager Paul Simpson agreeing that it had been one of those days where everything came together.

Match Reports


7 October 2023

“There’s no doubt about that,” he said. “It was an absolutely outstanding performance. We’ve won the game 3-1 but if you think that we missed a penalty, Sean Maguire goes one on one, and I think their goalkeeper has pulled off two really good saves as well.

“I’m delighted we scored three goals, and with the football we played, but that was built on an unbelievable solid team performance. It was a disciplined approach to go and do the horrible side of the game, to chase, to tackle, and to do all of those things, and that’s why we got what we saw.

“What a day, we’ve waited for that result because we’ve had games where we’ve had bits of a performance, but that was a full 90 minutes, and we wanted that.

“What a place to come and get it with that amount of fans backing us behind the goals. I said it during the week that one of the things I always say to the players is for them to get a picture in their minds about what it would be like to celebrate with the fans at the end.

“We knew at half time that we’d given ourselves a base, and that we then had to go and finish it off by giving our fans something to shout about. And wow, did they shout.”

There were two setbacks to overcome – a missed penalty and a goal conceded – before the Blues could really settle into those celebrations.

“I was disappointed with their goal because we didn’t want them to get that slide ball in between our centre back and full backs,” he explained. “We wanted to be compact and we talked about forcing it to go wide, and then we have to go and do the work then to close it down.

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“They play a shape that gives you problems because they’re comfortable on the ball, they want to play out, they’ve got players who can stay in the holding role, and others who have good movement and who look to open it up.

“I just thought that every single one of them, and the boys who have come off the bench, put in a proper shift, and that’s what you have to do if you’re going to earn results.

“I was disappointed with the penalty as well because we’ve talked about it for weeks that Jordan Gibson was on penalties. I’ll be honest with you, we never talked about it before the game because I automatically thought Gibbo was on them.

“He got the ball, but the next time I looked Joe was on it. I’ll never criticise anyone for missing a penalty, because I’ve done it myself, but it’s those little things that if Gibbo is on them, then go and take it.

“Stick with what the plan is. We got away with it, and we’ve talked a lot about penalties we’ve not been getting, but we got two in this one. I’m delighted with that, but I still think we’re owed a few. It’s a big result that we can all enjoy.”

Aside the taking of the chances, it was a display built on discipline in and out of possession.

“That was my main message from after our final meeting before the game,” he revealed. “I told them that we were going to have to have discipline in the way we played when we had the ball and out of possession.

“With the way they play we knew we had to be really patient and calm going forward, and when defending. I’ve been in grounds where there’s a big crowd and it’s easy to lose your head and not play the game of football, you end up playing the whole occasion.

“The discipline was outstanding, they stuck to the task, did their jobs and showed some good quality when we got on the ball.”

And for this first segment of the interview, we could end nowhere else but on the fans.

“They were incredible, the noise was amazing, it really was,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you, we got here really early and went for pre-match, further on from the ground, and we went past a pub where all of our supporters were, and it was magnificent to see.

“It’s funny because we have this guy over in America who every now and again gives us a bit of money to help on the football side of things, to add a little bit of equipment that will help us.

“He wanted to make a little donation and for it not to be swallowed up, it had to be for the football side of things.

“He’s called Bernard Bewley, a real fanatical Carlisle fan, and he texted me yesterday because I’m saying quite a lot at the moment that we’ve got to get results to go with what we’re doing.

“He said to me in response to that I have to look at what it was like two years ago when I first came back. There was a bad feeling at the football club, we had no fans coming in, and you see all of those fans today - and it is good.

“He also said to me - take a deep breath when you’re feeling a bit down and think about it. I did that when I saw all of those fans, and it does make you realise that we have come a long way.

“We can still go further, we’ve got to make sure we keep driving each other on, because we’ve got support from America, people in Australia who are sending messages and wanting to help, and there’s nearly 4,500 who make the journey here to make a hell of a noise.

“They’ve made it a flipping good day and I’m certainly going to enjoy my night. That’s always going to be the way when you give them something to shout about as well. It’s really important because we all want to be doing what we’re doing together.”

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