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Club News

MANAGER: To have different threats is good

Paul Simpson on some good performances

4 September 2023

Club News

MANAGER: To have different threats is good

Paul Simpson on some good performances

4 September 2023

United’s forward line gave the visitors all kinds of tests on Saturday afternoon with starters Luke Plange and Sean Maguire demonstrating a real of understanding of each other’s game ahead of Joe Garner and Terry Ablade coming on to help to finish the job off.

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“I really like Luke,” the manager said. “I thought he was a little bit tidier at the weekend in terms of retaining the ball, and he’s really intelligent with his movement.

“He was so unlucky not to score with the volley that hit the post. I think there’s more to come from him.

“This is all new to Luke. He’s come further north than he’s ever been in his life so it’s a challenge. He’s living in a house up here and I don’t think he’s the most domesticated kid on the block, he’s having to learn how to live.

“It’s a big thing, a massive thing. I think his attitude’s been first class. He’s stuck at it. I’ve been made aware there’s been some grumbles on social media, everybody knows I don’t do it, but people tell me, and we need to give the guy a chance to really settle in.

“I think he can be a real threat. It is a shame that his volley didn’t go in because if he can get a goal I think it will really settle him down. But his level of performance was so good, I was so pleased.”

“Sean has got such intelligence about him and he’s an experienced player, so we’ve got some good forward options in the building now,” he added. “He worked the defence constantly, and that’s something he’s done in every game so far.

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“He’ll tell you himself that he’s getting fitter and stronger, and we definitely have more to see from him. I’m really looking forward to that.

“He knows we think highly of him and I think he’s starting to settle and have an influence. He’s another who I feel will really kick on once he gets that first goal, and I’m pretty sure he’ll claim that first one on Saturday if you ask him about it.”

Notching up his first assist for the club was loanee Terry Ablade, who showed a real burst of pace.

“I think to defend a lead you need an attacking threat, and when you put someone like Terry on, especially on our pitch, a big, lovely surface, he is going to cause chaos,” he told us.

“He’s got a good spring, there was one in front of the dugout where he got up and won the header and I could hear people behind me in the Paddock going wow, because he can get up, he can win headers.

“And that pace to go and stretch teams is phenomenal. He did it for the goal, he did it for one where he wins the free-kick. He’s another young fella who’s settling in, he’s never been this far north, or up to Carlisle at all.

“They’ll get used to us, we’ll get used to them, and I really hope there will be much more positive things to come from them.”

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Pace was an ingredient the manager was keen to add from the moment the recruitment process started in earnest back in May.

“What it does is it makes teams drop off a little bit and that creates the space in midfield,” he told us. “When we don’t have that pace the pitch becomes congested, so to have that threat is good.

We’ve got it in Dan Butterworth, with Luke, who hasn’t got the blistering pace but has that gangly sort of stride that can get away from people. It gives you a threat.

“Bringing JJ into it gives us another option as well. I think we’ve got a good mix of strikers with Edmo, with Joe, with the smaller ones in Seani and Dan and Terry. We’ve got a good mix of forward players that hopefully we can find the right permutation.”

And backing up that front line is a group that appears to be really starting to gel.

“Sam Lavelle played really well, he’s more experienced so he’s a bit more accustomed to it,” he said. “I thought it was probably his best game for us. He’s a really good pro.

“And then we saw, when we’ve got others who can come in it doesn’t have make a difference for us. 

“In midfield we had players who really dug in. We knew Callum was going to be important for us in possession, we felt the way they were setting up he’d be our outlet and free player in there.

“They then changed it and put Bayliss up against him, and Udoh up against him, but I thought out of possession it was excellent for us.

“The wing backs did their work and as a team we saw a lot of very good things. On the bench we had any of them who could have contributed, and they were ready to. We’ve definitely given ourselves something to build on.”


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