Why Colchester's ground holds happy memories for Carlisle United boss Simmo

·3-min read
Paul Simpson, left, managed England's Under-20s in a victory over Germany at Colchester (photo:s: PA)
Paul Simpson, left, managed England's Under-20s in a victory over Germany at Colchester (photo:s: PA)

Paul Simpson is hoping for more happy memories of Colchester’s ground – having already enjoyed success there with England.

The Carlisle United boss was in charge of the international under-20s side when they beat Germany 2-0 at the Jobserve Community Stadium back in 2018.

It came a year after Simpson led the Under-20s to World Cup glory – but now he’s aiming to prevail in Essex at the Carlisle helm.

"I think it’s a really nice place to go, a lovely stadium,” Simpson said.

“I went there with an England team playing against Germany, it was a sell-out and a brilliant atmosphere, and we won – so I always have good memories of Colchester.

READ MORE: Carlisle United bring in Derby County striker Jack Stretton on season-long loan

"It’s a game I’m looking forward to and one I’m hoping we can perform again."

Carlisle themselves are hoping to improve on a record of just one win in 12 visits to the U's ground since it opened in 2008.

This season’s first away game pits them against Wayne Brown's men who lost 3-2 at Northampton on the opening day.

The Cumbrians are hoping to make it two wins from two at the start of their own League Two campaign.

But Simpson believes Colchester’s blend of experience and youth will make them difficult hosts to overcome.

"I think it’s going to be a tough game, because of the experience they’ve got,” he said.

"On paper it looks a tough game. We’ve got to make sure on grass we make it as easy as we can and work hard, like we did last weekend, play some real front-foot football when we’re out of possession and when we’ve got the ball.

"If we do that I do believe we can cause them problems.

News and Star: Colchester's Cole Skuse, left (photo: PA)
News and Star: Colchester's Cole Skuse, left (photo: PA)

Colchester's Cole Skuse, left (photo: PA)

"We’ve got to be able to deal with the ability they’ve got with the likes of Cole Skuse and Alan Judge in midfield – two good footballers – and strikers in Freddie Sears, John Akinde and Frank Nouble, who are really experienced players who’ve been round the block.

"They’ve got a good mix of experienced players and some young athletic players as well, particularly in the wide areas.

"We’re going to have to be on our game against them.

"I’m led to believe they’re one of the fancied teams. I always find it hard to understand how [people] can say they’re one of the fancied teams, after one game of the season. But I think it will be tough.”

The first away trip of the season is also one of the longest for United’s travelling fans.

A 690-mile round trip faces United and their supporters.

Carlisle’s away-day support was a major feature of their revival under Simmo last season.

And the manager has saluted those who are putting in the miles this weekend.

“It’s brilliant, brilliant for the players,” he said.

“The support we had at home last week was tremendous. What we’ve got to do is go to Colchester and put on a performance that pleases the travelling supporters.

“I was talking to someone the other day who’s making the trip down, and they said they’re leaving about 5-6am – which is incredible dedication to go and do that.

“It gives the players a lift. We’ve got to put on a performance that pleases them and attracts even more to our home game next week that will help the club move forward.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting