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MANAGER: It was the story of our season

6 April 2024


MANAGER: It was the story of our season

6 April 2024

Paul Simpson joined us after relegation was confirmed in Northampton.

He said: “It’s been on the cards for a long time. Unfortunately, over the season we’ve fallen short, it’s as simple as that.

“We knew it was going to be a tough season, but I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it has been.

“We’re going to have to have a serious look into what’s gone on and make sure that we come back better for it.

“I don’t think you can call it a relief. It’s done and dusted, but it’s never a relief to be relegated.

“You certainly don’t prepare for it, it’s certainly not what any of us wanted. It's certainly not what the supporters deserve, the way they have been with us all season.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down, we’ve got to regroup and make sure that we get a stronger group together that can give us an opportunity to bounce back straight away.”

Looking ahead to the final four fixtures of the season, Simmo added: “Whether it’s momentum, fighting - it’s a bit of pride.

“With everything that’s gone on this week, we’ve put ourselves there to be shot at unfortunately.

“We’ve got to deal with all of that, we’ve got to regroup and make sure we’re better for this run in.

“The truth is that we’re going to have to look at different players because of the situation we’re in.

“We’ve travelled here today with 19 players and the only other fit and available player was Tomas Holy.

“This is all we had available for this game because of a disciplinary issue and because of injuries, this is all we’ve had.

“We’ve got Dan Butterworth who we think has pulled his calf today in the first-half. He’ll get scanned on Monday and we’ll see how bad that is.

“Sean Maguire had an issue with his Achilles again at the end of the game, we don’t know how bad that is.

“We’ll have to have a look at it, we’ll have to count heads and try and get 18 to go to Cheltenham on Tuesday night.”

Talking on a disciplinary issue inside the club, the manager had the following to say: “There isn’t anything else I can add. I expect it to be resolved by the end of next week when we make a decision as to how it’s going to be dealt with.

“Hugely disappointing, but these are things which happen when you’re struggling. You get players who aren’t doing things properly, unfortunately.

Assessing today’s contest, Paul said: “It's a poor goal to concede from a set play. We talked yesterday and worked on it yesterday about getting in early because they’ve got a good delivery from set plays, and we don’t get in early enough.

“We switch off and we allow that first contact to be lost and then they bundle it in.

“It wasn’t a great game of football; conditions didn’t make it easy because of the wind.

“The second goal is one of them we’ve thrown, we have a man on the edge to try and secure it and we’ve thrown him into the box just to see if we can get a goal.

“Josh Emmanuel has been caught short with Koiki, he showed a great turn of pace and finished it well. It’s another defeat for us, whether it’s 1-0 or 2-0 is irrelevant.

“Overall, it was the story of our season that we’ve started the game okay and we’ve got into good areas.

“I thought the two strikers caused problems, Georgie Kelly and Luke Armstrong, Butts was causing problems in that number 10 position, but we weren’t able to get anything from it and then you concede a poor goal and it’s a chasing job again.

“I thought first-half, we looked as though we were going to get something out of it, there was a couple of things bobbling around in the box. Second-half, we haven’t created a hell of a lot.

“The best opportunity came right at the end with a great ball in by Jack Armer and Jack Diamond couldn’t quite get on the end of it.

“From the corner, we get a proper kick up the backside and they go and score from it on the counter.”

A positive to take from a disappointing afternoon was that Georgie Kelly made his first start, featuring for 60 minutes as he continues to manage his game-time on his return to action.

“That was the plan just to get an hour out of him and I think he looks a right threat, a right handful.

“He’ll get better, we’ve just got to keep him fit and that’s why it was a case of taking him off today to make sure that he’s fit and available for Tuesday.”

“There are loads and loads of things going on inside the football club and there will be even more things going on over the summer,” said Simpson.

“We have to make sure that now that it’s done and dusted, we know that we’re a League Two side next season, which has been on the cards for weeks and weeks now.

“We just have to make sure that we’re better as a group of football people to go along with all the good things going on at Brunton Park.”

Finally, Simmo praised United’s supporters who were outstanding this afternoon, like they have been all campaign.

“They know I can only thank them. They’ve been absolutely magnificent over the season, and we just haven’t done enough to keep them smiling, to keep them going.

“They have turned up in their numbers and we just hope that they turn up in their numbers next year as well.”

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