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‘We lacked quality’ – Simpson

Paul Simpson admitted that a lack of confidence is affecting City’s ability to show quality on the ball.

The Assistant Head Coach was reflecting on the Robins’ 1-0 defeat to Barnsley.

Watch: Paul Simpson post-Barnsley

 

Lack of quality

“I can’t fault the effort of the players or their commitment to Bristol City this afternoon. The big disappointment was our lack of quality and that’s where we have let ourselves down,” said Simpson.

“I expected it to be a scrappy and scruffy game and that’s no disrespect to Barnsley. They are very good at being direct and being on the front foot. They don’t like to keep possession and keep it in the final third as early as they can. They are a big, physically strong side so that hasn’t surprised us in any way.

“We wanted to match up with Barnsley in terms of shape, we tried to put a team out that was a bit more positive. We got ourselves into areas of the field that we’d worked on over the last couple of days where we wanted a bit of quality and we didn’t get that today, whether that be a final pass through to go and get an opportunity at goal, a cross, or a throw-in so that we retain possession, and we haven’t done enough.

“Look at the stats of the game; we have had 15 shots against us and we’ve had one, which was Famara’s half-volley from 20/30 yards. We haven’t had enough quality in the final third to create a corner.”

A scrappy affair in BS3

We are better than this

“I think this group of footballers are better that what we are showing and we’ve got to get back to it. Unfortunately we haven’t got a magic formula, no-one has a magic wand. This feeling we have got this afternoon, losing 1-0 at home to Barnsley, we’ve had this for the previous six games with differing results and we have just got to keep working as hard as we possibly can to try and turn it around.

Don't stop believing is the message

Keeping the belief

“Unfortunately, when you are constantly losing the belief goes out of players and you end up trying that extra bit harder instead of being calmer and relaxing.

“When Dean [Holden] took over last season, and what I’m led to believe and saw from the games, was that he took the shackles off and let them go and play with freedom. We’ve never tried to restrict them and not allow them to play with freedom but we’ve said to them this week ‘you’ve got nothing to lose, go and play and show what ability you have got, we can’t give you any magic wand to make you believe in yourself.’

“The desire to work hard comes from within and I think we have done that today but we have got to work smarter and be better on the ball.

“We have to do everything we can to show we are better than we are at the moment.

“Early on in the season we had players showing real belief in their ability. We haven’t got that now and we’ve got to continue to work hard and prepare ourselves as best we can for Middlesbrough away and hope this same group of players give us a different tune on Tuesday night (7pm KO).”

Walsh update

Midfielder Liam Walsh will play for the Under-23s against Cardiff at the Optima Stadium on Tuesday afternoon on his way back to full fitness following a thigh injury that has kept him out of action this season.

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