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MANAGER: I want everybody to step up

Paul Simpson on the squad post-window and on looking ahead to January

8 September 2023

For the first time in a long time we didn’t have to kick a midweek press conference off with the latest transfer window banter, but we did somehow manage to bring it up when we asked the manager if things felt a bit more relaxed now that the squad for the first half of the season had been finalised.

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“It is more relaxed and I’m sleeping a lot better at night,” he admitted. “I had some restless nights over the last few weeks, as I’m sure Greg will admit that he did as well.

“Greg is certainly a lot more relaxed, but on Monday he sent an email to me and all the part-time scouts to say the work starts now for January.

“That’s what we have to do, I’m planning to have a meeting with him over the next couple of weeks to talk about where I think we’re going to need strengthening. Because of the rumours going around about change of ownerships we don’t know where we stand in terms of budgets.

“Hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll get some news on that so we can really get into planning for another really important window for us.”

“In terms of the squad, I’m really pleased with what we’ve got. I think there are players who need to come and step up, that’s my challenge to them all the time.

“There are some players who are not reaching the levels we want them to, but I’m demanding that all of the time. I want them all to keep improving because I want a group of players for this next part of the season who will all come and contribute.

“There’s no point just being here as a number, I want everybody to contribute because over the course of this run up until January, I would imagine they’ll all be needed.”

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And there are rumours of new ownership, with a forum to be hosted by CUOSC, with the potential impact that could have on any future window dealings.

“The honest answer is I don’t know,” he told us. “I found out the other day that they’re meeting supporters which I think is important because they need to understand what is going on as well.

“I don’t honestly know where it’s at, I know there are things going on in the background, so it is moving at a pace, but I don’t know what is going to happen.

“My job is to focus on what is going on here inside the building and make sure the players are preparing right for games. I’m quite sure that when there’s something to hear about then we’ll be told about it.

“Even if something does come, we’ll always be confined by the SCMP, and I don’t know what the budget might be for January, we’ll find out in due course.

“We know what we’ve spent and I’m really thankful for what the directors have done so far to help us get along. We’ll just keep working until we get told any different.”

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