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MANAGER: It was hugely disappointing after the performance and result at Peterborough

1 April 2024


MANAGER: It was hugely disappointing after the performance and result at Peterborough

1 April 2024

We spoke to manager Paul Simpson after the home defeat against Lincoln City.

“We weren’t able to follow up what we’d done on Friday, particularly first half,” he said. “We were so far off it in the first half in terms of the work-ethic and in terms of the technical stuff like passing the ball to each other and communicating with each other.

“The amount of times we left the ball for each other and in the end left it for a Lincoln player was too many. We gave the ball away cheaply when we just needed to keep possession and that’s where their first goal came from. We had an opportunity to keep it, but we misplaced a pass and they slid a ball through.

“The second goal is a calamity. It’s a lack of communication where we strike a ball against one of our own players and they go through. It knocked the stuffing out of us. We got ourselves a goal back, but their third goal is a quality finish which shows the quality they’ve got.

“Communication is one of the basics of football. Nobody can stop you from running and nobody can stop you from talking. They can affect you in other bits, but they’re the basics. That has to come from within, it isn’t a coaching point, it has to come from within. When you’re missing that, there’s a big problem.

“I think you saw the difference in the two sides, they’re a team who are playing with a massive amount of confidence and some real momentum, and we’re a team who aren’t. That was really evident in the game today, we’ve ended up being beaten and over the course of the 90 minutes we deserved it.”

“We’ve obviously got issues but I just don’t think we worked hard enough in the first half,” he continued. “We had a little bit of life in the second half and I thought we looked a stronger side when Georgie Kelly came onto the pitch and gave us a focal point.

“When I brought him on I changed it and I wanted to keep the two wide players on in Jordan Gibson and Jack Robinson to get crosses into the box. We did that, but we still weren’t getting that finish at the end of it. It was hugely disappointing after the performance and result at Peterborough. To drop down to the level we did, especially in the first half, was really disappointing.

“I said to them at half time, go and play forward and run forward. Too many times it was too nice and we were playing backwards or square passes with nobody running past. We had Dan Butterworth in the 10 position to be close to Luke Armstrong but he was coming deeper and deeper to get on the ball. We just asked them to be positive and get crosses into the box. I thought we started the second half brightly and probably should have done better with a couple of the chances we had. The second goal just absolutely killed the players but also killed any enthusiasm the fans had.”

“It was good to get Georgie on the pitch for half an hour,” he commented. “I considered changing it at half time but I said to the players that I would give it ten or 15 minutes to see if we could get a chance and do something different.

“It was a little bit different, but not enough to get us back in the game. It was just a case of trying to do something, we got ourselves a goal back then huffed and puffed without showing any real quality. The third goal just put the finishing touches on it for them.

“Going forward, we have to show more fight than we did today, especially in the first half. We have to have a group of players who can show they want to be professional footballers and do the basics which means doing things properly and working hard out on the grass. We aren’t always going to have good games and we aren’t always going to do everything right, but you really have to show a desire and I don’t think we showed that desire first half.”

With Taylor Charters and Dylan McGeouch missing from the starting line-up, the manager gave an update on their injuries: “It’s not great news. Taylor felt his hamstring on Friday, and we hoped we’d got him off in time, but he’s got a mild strain there. It’s a four-week injury which possibly means he’s finished for the season. We might get him back for Derby if he has a good rehab, but because of his history with hamstrings it’s likely he might not play this season.

“Dylan came off on Friday because he’d had cramp, a kick on his calf and he’d rolled his ankle. The ankle settled and the cramp settled, and we thought the kick on the calf was going to be ok.

“He started to train yesterday but he said he feels like there’s something else there. We’ll get that scanned on Tuesday and see what the extent of that is. It’s really disappointing for Dylan because he’d settled into the team and he was giving us that base in midfield. We’ll just have to see what happens with it.”

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