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Club News

MANAGER: Make sure we nullify the threat

Paul Simpson ahead of tomorrow's game

6 October 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Make sure we nullify the threat

Paul Simpson ahead of tomorrow's game

6 October 2023

Boss Paul Simpson spoke to us about the weekend trip to Bolton at his midweek press conference.

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“I’m not sure where they are in the table but I’m not really bothered about that,” he said. “I’m bothered about where we are, I don’t like the position we’re in, but we’re there because that’s what we’ve done so far this season.

“We know this will be a tough game. Bolton are a good side and they’re a side who will fully expect to be up in those top places.

“They’ve got a strong group and they’ve scored a lot of goals this season, they got three again the other night. It’s a challenge for us but these are the games you want to be involved in.

“We’re probably looking at a crowd of over 20,000 in a great stadium. We’ve got unbelievable away support following us and we’ve got to go and rise to the occasion.”

“It’s a ground where our supporters haven’t had the chance to go to, the last one was in lockdown,” he added. “It’s a great game to look forward to – a game we have to make sure we take the positive feeling and feeling of elation at the end of the game on Tuesday, take it into Saturday and make sure we put on a good performance.

“We have to go and enjoy that opportunity to play there. We all know it’s going to be a tough game, but they’re all tough.

“I think over the season it’s fair to say we’ve been in games, we’ve been close but not close enough – we have to try and narrow that gap we’re finding and do it as quickly as possible to get more points on the board. 

“If we can build on what we did Tuesday it would mean we’re coming back with three points, that’s the most important thing.

Match Previews

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“I don’t like where we are in the league table at the moment, and I’m not massively satisfied with what I’m doing because the results are a reflection of me. I want it to improve and hopefully this weekend will be the start of it improving.”

Sitting third in the table, Wanderers are a team that has scored goals, with one of the division’s leading scorers at the forefront of the attack.

“The plan for Dion Charles is the same as the plan for Jonson Clarke-Harris, just don’t let him score,” the manager commented. “We’ve got to make sure we nullify the threat, whatever shape we play.

“We have to make sure they don’t get opportunities, but they’ve got other players who are good players. I like both their wing backs, they’ve got midfield players with an attacking threat and they’re clever at set plays.

“They got a penalty the other night from a clever set play and the Stevenage defenders committed to a foul. We know it will be tough, but we’re going there full of belief.

“There’s a really positive feel about the players. There’s a little bit of a buzz that you get which comes when you score such a late equaliser, because it feels a bit like a win. We’ve got to take that into the game on Saturday and show a really good side of ourselves.”

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There’ll be some familiar faces in the Bolton dressing room with Kyle Dempsey, Jack Iredale and Gethin Jones all part of the home team rank and file.

“Gethin Jones won’t be able to do anything because he’s suspended on Saturday, but I know they’ll all want to do well,” he said. “They’ll want to cement their place up the top of the table, and this will be a game they’ll be coming into thinking it’s three points for them because we’re near the bottom.

“Football doesn’t work like that. If we go about it properly then we can do enough to cause them problems and hopefully get something out of the game.

“But they do have threats. We’ve mentioned Dion Charles, and Adeboyejo is a real handful as well. They’re struggling a little bit with injuries, they’ve got two or three big players missing, but they’re a footballing team.

“All of their players are comfortable on the ball, the two wing-backs are very positive, the left sided is actually a winger, but he’s playing as a wing-back, Dacres-Cogley I liked at Tranmere. They’ve got really attack minded players.

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“On the flip of it, I think we can actually exploit that as well because they are so positive. They’re at home, they’ll be thinking it’s just an automatic foregone conclusion that they get three points because they’re playing against little Carlisle.

“So, we have to take our game to them, be aggressive in the way we press and move the ball quickly and see if we can cause them problems.”

On his own memories of playing at Bolton, he told us: “I think I’ve only played once or twice at the new stadium.

“But I had lots of games at the old one, particularly I remember playing youth cup games there. I have more memories of the old Burnden Park, but that’s probably a reflection of how old I am.

“I think it’s a lovely stadium, a really nice stadium, Bolton, but my memory of stadiums is tarnished by a bad result, so I only want it to be a good memory this weekend.”


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