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Club News

MANAGER: We did a lot of good things

More from the manager on the Saturday draw

17 September 2023

Club News

MANAGER: We did a lot of good things

More from the manager on the Saturday draw

17 September 2023

The Blues put on one of their best performances of the season at the LNER Stadium on Saturday afternoon with plenty of positives to take, despite the disappointment of not having taken all three points.

Match Reports


16 September 2023

“I thought it was an excellent performance from start to finish,” manager Paul Simpson agreed. “We saw different types of performances, we played some good football and we defended well.

“I have to say, some of the decisions are hard to explain. It’s just a penalty in the first half. Their director of football actually said to me coming off the pitch that it’s an absolute stonewall penalty, so I just don’t get it.

“We can’t say we would go two up with a penalty but we should’ve had an opportunity to be trying for it, and that’s been taken away from us.”

“The goal we conceded, that’s disappointing,” he added. “It was a momentary lapse where we didn’t go out and press, and get close to the ball, so they equalised and that’s our own fault.

“Collectively we didn’t do our jobs properly at that moment when for the rest of the game I thought we stayed compact and compressed their play very well.

“In that one moment we didn’t do that part of the job properly. This isn’t an easy place to come and they’ve had three league games here now, which they’ve won 3-0, so it’s good to see us play like we did.

“I’m really proud of the players, they’ve all put a shift in, and it was one of those days where we started well and kept building on it. It’s just disappointing we didn’t get the three points.”

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It was a game where the players started well and built on it, with a very strong overall display.

“We’d talked about the fact that with the quality we start to show if we could get three or four passes together, we’d be able to take a bit of control,” he explained. “I thought we did that and we created some good opportunities.

“Again it’s those fine margins and getting the quality right at the key moments. We’ve worked the ball, created space, but we need to get the quality right when it opens up for us.

“We probably had three or four shots from 20/25 yards when it needed another pass, or a look at a better option. Maybe we could’ve had an extra person brought into play, maybe you could just put a foot through it and go for the power, as opposed to trying to shape shots in. 

“We’ve done a lot of good things and it’s something that we’ve got to keep building on, and we’ve got to challenge ourselves to keep improving.

“I think the training this week has been a step up in levels, it’s been good, so we have to keep going. I’ve just said in there that we have to keep doing that because we’re really starting to find our feet at this level.

“We’re still not there yet, but we’ve come a long way since that first game of the season. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and go from finding our feet to turning the screw and getting the wins a lot of what we’re doing deserve.”

Ticket News

AWAY DAYS: Wycombe

18 September 2023

“We’re seeing more of the football we want to see because we’ve got a bit more control about us, and it’s all a bit calmer on the ball,” he continued. “The passage of play to get Owen Moxon in, again, that’s another opportunity that you have to be clinical with.

“If we score there it takes the game away. Unfortunately we don’t finish it, and I don’t even think it’s a good save. We’ve put it at him and made it easy.

“But we have played some good football, particularly in the first half. I thought we had good control in the second half after the spells where they stepped up, so I do agree that it probably should’ve been more than just one point.

“We’ve taken the disappointment of not getting the penalty on the chin and played well overall. At times we had to work hard defensively, I think they had a spell when they had the ball and were probing, making changes, changed the shape and gave us a few little issues.

“But we defended really well, we were disciplined in our back three, with the midfield doing their bit and also looking to be positive and creative. I thought Jordan Gibson and Mox were creative without getting the final ball exactly right, and the strikers on to start and to finish caused problems.

“I’m delighted for Luke [Plange] to get a goal because he’s been building towards that.We’ve had Sean Maguire and Joe Garner getting goals, so we’ve got to keep going, building on these last three games that are now unbeaten, and hope we take it into our home game next weekend.”

And as at Stevenage, the physical side of the encounter was more than matched.

“Football is a running game, there’s no hiding away from it, you have to be able to run,” he said. “This is the big thing we’re trying to do, we’re trying to make them more robust in the physical attributes, make them resilient to be able to deal with game after game.

“I thought they put a hell of a shift in. I thought we got onto second balls, ran in behind them and caused them problems. There are some good signs but, as I say, it’s just disappointing we’ve only taken one point from it.”

Also doing their bit was the 645 who were packed into the away section.

“From the start when I came out I knew it was going to be excellent from them,” he told us. “It would’ve been even better if we’d given them a win.

“That’s our only disappointment. They were noisy, magnificent, and we can’t thank them enough.”

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