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Club News

MANAGER: I challenged the players and staff

Paul Simpson on the continued demands for improvement

19 September 2023

Club News

MANAGER: I challenged the players and staff

Paul Simpson on the continued demands for improvement

19 September 2023

A run of three games unbeaten has coincided with a level of performance that has demonstrated that the Blues have settled into life in League One, with the promise of much more of the same to come.

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MANAGER: We needed more discipline about it

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“We actually feel it could have been more, but two points from two hard places gives everybody belief,” he said. “When you step up a level there are always question marks about whether you’re good enough.

“That’s from players as well, because you don’t really know. But I think we’re starting to find our feet.

“We know there’s a long way to go and we’re not the finished article yet, but if we show the same desire, determination, discipline and football we’ve shown recently, I think we can cause problems to a lot of teams in this league.

“It was obviously important to build on the Stevenage game because we said we wanted to be three games unbeaten, and that’s now where we are. But for the things we talked about we might be looking at a win from Saturday, but we have got plenty to be pleased with.

“The main thing, of course, is that it keeps the run going. Yes, there is disappointment that we should’ve had an opportunity to get three points, but things are going really well. Things in the building are positive, so we’re in a good place.”

The ‘impostor syndrome’ is something we’ve discussed a lot, but that’s another element that’s been dealt with as the Blues have stayed in touch in every game so far.

“I think we’ve shown we’re a good football team and that we can fight and scrap,” he agreed. “It takes a bit of time. The truth is it probably won’t even be the finished team this season, we’re going to have to keep building.

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MANAGER: We did a lot of good things

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“You look at clubs like Lincoln, Oxford, Exeter, Fleetwood, the teams we’ve come up against so far, they’ve had a couple of years to try and build towards it, so we’ve got to keep doing that.

“The biggest thing for us this year is we have to do enough to make sure we’re still in the league. Let’s get to that points total that keeps us up, then look how soon we’ve got it, and can we keep pushing on.

“Although I’m saying surviving in this league is the big thing, that’s not the ultimate aim for us, we want to do as well as we possibly can, but the first target is to get enough points to be safe.”

And with the squad for the first half of the season in place there’s been a visible increase in standards through this early phase of the campaign.

“I don’t know the reason for that, being honest,” he said. “We had a conversation last Tuesday where I said that everybody has to start stepping up.

“By that I meant players and staff, we’ve all got to do a bit more. I always believe you can only give one hundred percent, but I’m not sure we’re one hundred percent professional in the way we’ve gone about it.

“So I challenged the players, let’s step it up now and make demands on each other. Training off the back of that was really good, there was a good noise.

“You can tell by the noise in the changing room before the game on Saturday, it had a good feeling about it and I think the performance reflected that.

“Now we’ve got to keep going, keep plugging away, working as hard as we can, giving everything every single day, and if we do that we take whatever comes.”

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