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Club News

MANAGER: Really important to get the win

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday night victory

25 October 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Really important to get the win

More from Paul Simpson on the Tuesday night victory

25 October 2023

With the way luck has dropped through the first part of this season (perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it hasn’t dropped our way much at all) you’d have been forgiven for thinking that the Blues were once again going to miss out on the rewards they deserved when Burton took the lead against the run of play on Tuesday night, but nothing could have been further from the truth as the team dug in to put on an excellent 90-minute performance.

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“I absolutely think we deserved it,” manager Paul Simpson said after the game. “I thought we showed really good patience throughout the game, which we knew we were going to have to.

“It was the big message to the players ahead of the game, about being patient in possession. We expected them to do what they did because they’ve done it really well. They make a block with a back six and they’re really difficult to break down, so we knew we had to be patient.

“We knew they were waiting for a little mistake - and they punished us from the one mistake we made in the first half when the ball got intercepted.

“I said at half time that we just had to keep doing the things we were doing but try to be better in the final third.

“I’m absolutely delighted for everyone. I thought the fans stuck with us and they were really good, and the players showed a really good attitude to it and a really good character to keep going.

“We maybe should have got something at the weekend, but we didn’t, so it was really important that we got a win out of this game.”

And despite going behind, that moment wasn’t allowed to define the rest of the 90 minutes of action, which was largely dominated by the home team.

“We have to accept we’re going to make mistakes,” the gaffer commented. “You just hope somebody else covers it up, but unfortunately we didn’t do that for their goal.

“I was disappointed with the body language of three or four players when the ball was intercepted, and we cleared the first one, but even then we didn’t react properly.

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“After that we got back to doing what we were doing, we kept the ball and we moved it well. We got into wide areas and we put some better crosses in.

“When you think about it, Joe Garner’s chance in the first half hits their lad on the line, but if it goes anywhere else it’s a goal.

“We’ve got the one where Mox closes the centre back down in the 18-yard box and it ricochets off him, something like that would probably go in the back of our net against us.

“Fin Back’s header at the far post, I don’t know whether it was out or not. They kept plugging away and persevering and trying to find the right pass, and in the end we’ve got two good goals to earn us the three points.”

But there must have been a real sense of ‘right, here we go again’ when that Helm effort flew into the net.

“It was actually when Joe Garner had that one blocked on the line that I was thinking here we go again,” he revealed. “We all know the biggest problem we’ve had as a team is scoring goals.

“Then we had a brilliant delivery from Callum Guy from the corner, Sam Lavelle makes a great run, it’s a perfect delivery and a perfect connection, but he smashes it over the bar.

“We’ve got to score from set plays soon because we’re getting some good deliveries in. I hope that part of it comes for us very soon.

“But we got there. It was about keeping doing the right things and showing some character. I said at half time that it was a test of our character and making sure we didn’t lose our heads and our belief in what we were doing. I thought they did things really well in the second half.”

Another moment that could have rocked the hosts back on their heels came when Fin Back’s back post header was ruled out, with the assistant referee flagging to indicate that the ball had gone behind from the initial Jack Armer deflected cross.

“It’s a blow, but we knew we were doing the right things,” he insisted. “We were getting balls into the box and getting bodies in there.

“I had a bit of a concern because Owen Moxon and Callum Guy were both so eager to get on the ball and get into wide areas that we were leaving the middle of the pitch open a little bit.

“Although I didn’t say it to the lads, I felt this was a really big game we had to win. We’ve got to be picking up three points in games at home and this is a big one that gives us confidence.

“I said to the players after full time that the level of performance they’ve shown against Bolton, Portsmouth and here has to give them belief, and it has to make them realise that we can be a good side if we keep doing the right things.

“That was against a team who couldn’t win in the first six or seven, then they’ve had four straight victories. That’s what we’ve got to try and strive to achieve.

“We’ve got to get a run of results that lifts us up the table, gives everybody belief and keeps everybody thinking we’ve got a real fighting chance.

“It was massively disappointing on Saturday but when we did a bit of review we talked about some of the good things, but I also talked about areas where we had to be better, and also areas where it would be better if we could do it a little bit differently.

“We reviewed it because it wasn’t all good, and thankfully we’ve taken that into this game and been much better.”

And on what the win means at this stage of the season, he said: “It’s huge. From a selfish point of view it’s massive because it doesn’t half make my night better.

“As I said earlier, I thought the fans stuck with us and I’m really pleased they’re going home on the back of a result like that. I think I heard over the tannoy that we had over 6,000 on a Tuesday night, which is fantastic.

“It’s a big result for everybody. The players can take belief and hopefully the fans can take belief from it, but we’ve got to do it again now.

“We go to Cambridge on Saturday and we’ve got to make sure the level of performance is right. Now it’s about being professionals and recovering to get ready to go again.”


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