Stability brings progress for young defender

"Now I feel like I have put my head down, I have worked hard and I have managed to get myself into the side" Aaron Simpson

Under 23’s full back Aaron Simpson believes that the sides rich vein of form is down to the fact that the squad is more organised all over the pitch compared to last season.

In the last five games in both league and cup, the under 23’s have managed to keep five clean sheets and the increased organisation of the group is something that Simpson was keen to focus on.

In contrast to last season, it has been a settled group this time around with the emergency loan window no longer available for players to join other league clubs, and performances and results have benefitted as a result.

“As a back four, if you look at us this season compared to last season we are a lot more organised and we are stronger,” he said.

“I think it gives the team a boost as well as us because if they know that we are going to do our job behind them then it gives them the confidence to do whatever they need to do up the pitch and score goals and I think that is the reason why we have won so many games this year already.

“We have been keeping clean sheets but the strikers and midfielders in the team have been doing a great job scoring goals.

“To keep clean sheets as a defender is what you want.

“As a striker you want to score goals, and as a defender you want to keep clean sheets so as long as we keep doing that then we can’t ask for much more.”

Scott Sellars’ side currently sit second in the table behind Swansea City but a seven game unbeaten run in both league and cup competitions has led to the group believing they can go all the way this season.

“I think that with our performances already this season we have shown that we are a side that can play well under pressure and that we can be consistent,” he says.

“We have won six and drawn one in the last seven but I feel that we really need to keep that form going and keep the momentum.

“We need to keep doing what we are doing and if we continue to do that then I don’t see why we couldn’t win the league.”

Last night’s game against Stoke City was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, with the next fixture Monday’s trip to face Brighton at Crawley Town.

The arrival of Paul Lambert as Head Coach has also given fresh impetus to the Under-23 group who know that if they can impress, they are likely to get an opportunity.

Simpson has revealed that the new Head Coach has told the youngsters that if they are good enough to play, then they are old enough to make it into the first team set up.

“Before we travelled to the Portsmouth game last week he had a meeting with all of us upstairs and he was just saying that if we are good enough then we are old enough,” says the defender.

“I feel like that is another incentive to push on and train even harder and then in the matches give it your all and then hopefully there will be opportunities that come about.

“I trained with the first team for the first time on Wednesday and I feel like he (Paul Lambert) is very passionate about football and I feel like if those opportunities come round more often then I can learn a lot from them so I am looking forward to getting more chances.

“For me it is always about learning and getting better.

“If you look at me ten months ago I was in and out of the squad and I was a little bit low on confidence because I wasn’t in the squad.

“But now I feel like I have put my head down, I have worked hard and I have managed to get myself into the side.

“When you play with confidence there is no better feeling because you do things naturally and it just gives you that extra bit of boost in games and in training but also like I said before, I worked a lot on my technical ability in the off season so I think I have come back better in that respect.

“I always say to myself, there is still more work to be done so I am just going to keep working hard and see what happens.”