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MANAGER: A big moment for him

Paul Simpson on a first goal for Luke Plange

18 September 2023

The importance of set pieces came to the fore once again on Saturday as striker Luke Plange got on the end of a whipped delivery from Owen Moxon to open his account for the club, and to put his side in front in what was always going to be a tight game.

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“It was a good delivery and we got the run to go with it,” manager Paul Simpson said. “Luke got across the first man, which causes problems, and that’s where the goal comes from.

“We had other opportunities with some of our free kicks, but I don’t think we were on the money or not quite were we wanted to be with them.

“We created some really good opportunities and played some really good football to get into good areas, and I just think it was a really good strong performance.

“I accept that they had a bit of the ball after the change of shape in the first half, one of the outside centre backs stepped out a little bit, but I thought we were secure at the back because we had a good shape about us.

“The players played with real discipline. There was a lot of good things to take out of it. Like I say, I’m just disappointed there’s not three points to go with it.”

On what that goal will mean for the Palace loanee, he told us: “It’s a big thing for him. He was disappointed not to be starting last week, but he knows he has to keep with it and keep working.

“I had to have a little bit of a quiet word with him after the way it was last weekend with him, because he didn’t react in the right way to being left out.

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“I just said to him that he had to wait for his opportunity. Unfortunately for Josh Kayode he’s got his injury, so Luke got his opportunity again on Saturday. That’s how it works out sometimes.

“It’s a goal he earned because of the run he made. He could quite easily have got one against Shrewsbury where he got across the first man and he’s poked it onto the post.

“This time he got the reward, from a set play, because he’s done the job that we asked him to by getting into that area. Hopefully he’ll settle into it because he is a goalscorer, he’s a really good finisher, from both feet as well.

“I’m hoping that gives him a bit of a springboard to move on now. The good thing about what he did on Saturday is that I thought he played with real fire in his belly.

“I told him before the game that he had nothing to prove to anybody at Lincoln, he just needed to go out and show that he deserved to be playing, and I thought he did that.

“I took him off because they were desperate to try and get him sent off, they were appealing for everything, the referee had already given him a yellow card for something and nothing, so we didn’t want to risk that.”

And the way that strike partner Sean Maguire complemented the movement from the off was another huge positive to take.

“It’s good for Luke, good for Sean, they were a real threat,” he agreed. “The big thing they did well through the first half, even when balls were going up high, they were competing and not making it a free header for their centre backs so we were able to get on second balls.

“You can see Sean has played at a higher level. He’s a really intelligent footballer. Even the intelligence to get across the defender when it’s an absolute definite penalty. That’s just clever.

“He’s had a push on the back of his neck, but we don’t need to go over that again. Sean’s doing some good things at the moment and he’s only going to get better and better as the games go on.”

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