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MANAGER: Whitehaven were really respectful

Paul Simpson on Whitehaven match and injuries

7 March 2024


MANAGER: Whitehaven were really respectful

Paul Simpson on Whitehaven match and injuries

7 March 2024

On Tuesday evening, United advanced to the Cumberland Cup Final following victory against Whitehaven Miners Social.

Speaking on the encounter at Brunton Park, Paul Simpson said: “To be honest, both sides were really respectful because I’ve been involved in those games when it’s that type of score and it becomes a bit of a kicking match and you’re running the risk of getting players injured. 

“I thought Whitehaven were really respectful of it, I thought our players went about it in the right way. 

“Nobody likes to be involved in a game where it’s 13-0, it’s not right, but the players went about it in the right way, they did the right things, they got the physical side out of it, they got the football side out of it, I’ll admit it wasn't a game which stretched them, but we wanted to treat the competition properly and we’ve got through to the final and we’ll deal with that when it comes round.

“It was one of those workouts that we needed to do and the players will have got something from it, even if it’s a confidence booster of sticking the ball in the back of the net.

“They’ve done really well to get to the semi-final and I’m sure when the draw was made, they looked at it and thought this is not what we need, especially when we’ve got so many players who needed to play. 

“They’re Carlisle United fans a lot of the Whitehaven lads, I spoke to a few of them in the corridor, I spoke to their Chairman and Directors in the entrance hall out there in the reception and I just thought it was right to sort of congratulate them for getting this far.

“I know this isn't the draw they would’ve wanted, but just to thank them for being respectful. 

“Regardless of the result, I think they enjoyed the experience and I think it was maybe a little bit of an eye-opener. I think people sometimes do forget that there is a difference between the non-league level and first team player level.

“I’m sure they got a bit of an education in that and hopefully they'll understand the difference in the levels and the way that the players went about it here.”

Josh Emmanuel played the first-half and Ben Barclay featured for 76 minutes as the pair continued their return to full fitness.

“They both came through fine. 

“Josh was more about making sure he got the physical data and that’s why you kept seeing him going on marauding runs, underlaps and overlaps from that right side centre-back. The plan was to play him 60-70 minutes, but he got the data in that we needed, we needed him to do that sort of high speed running and he got all of that in, so it was a case of not pushing him because I wanted him to train on the Thursday to make sure he’s available.

“Ben got his work in as well, he’s been out for a few weeks. 

“It was just about keeping everybody up to speed, keeping everybody right and I think there were some good workouts for people like Jack Robinson, Dylan McGeouch, Sean Maguire, Butts [Dan Butterworth] and Sean Grehan, another one. 

“We got the minutes we needed from them, which hopefully will benefit us over the run-in until the end of the season.

“We’ve got a couple of little doubts for the weekend, we’re just going to have to wait and see, I’m not going to give any names out, but we’ll wait and see.

“There’s a few bumps and bruises, hopefully nothing too serious.

“We’re training on Friday anyway, so we'll make calls when we see if everybody's fit to train and if they're not fit to train they won't travel with us. We won't take any risks and there’s no point taking players down there if they're going to just sit and watch. We'll just give it as long as we possibly can and go from there.”

Paul also provided us with an update on strikers Joshua Kayode and Georgie Kelly.

“The plan was always that he [Kayode] was gonna do his first running session on the grass at Rotherham today. If he gets no reaction he's going to run again on Saturday. I haven't heard whether he's done that or not.

“We’ve had a real positive this week, we’ve seen Georgie Kelly out on the grass, so that’s good to see him working and we should get him back over the next few weeks.

“They're the only ones who are close, really.”

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