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Fans inspired us - Simpson

6 January 2013

Robbie's tribute to travelling fans

Goalscoring hero Robbie Simpson maintained Latics' vast army of travelling fans - over 2,800 - were the driving force behind yesterday's 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup with Budweiser.

Latics, 1-0 down at the break, produced a remarkable recovery scoring three goals in a devastating seven-minute spell.

Simpson, scorer of Latics' first two goals as well as a stunning strike at Liverpool last season, explained: "That's the magic of the FA Cup which I love.

"It is massive for a club like ourselves which needs the money.

"When we came out for the second half we were attacking our own fans and said let's give them something to cheer.

"The fans came out in their numbers, just as they did at Liverpool last season, and they definitely inspired the team to press quicker and to get into Forest's faces."

Simpson added it was one of the best halves of football he has ever been involved in.

He pointed out Latics struggled to get close to Forest in the opening period because of the formation the hosts had adopted.

Simpson said: "We changed our own formation with about 15 minutes to go in the first half and started to create chances towards the end.

"In the second half we pressed them higher up the pitch and went man for man and they didn't know how to live with us.

"We were fantastic in the second half."

And from a personal point of view Simpson was delighted to score twice on his return after completing a three-match ban.

He said: "It was a big moment for me personally as I have been struggling this season through injury and have been playing when I have not been fully fit.

"It has been frustrating and depressing so to score was really good for me and the second goal was the icing on the cake."

Simpson could conceivably scored a five-minute hat trick as he was also denied by a super stop by goalkeeper Lee Camp.

He continued: "It was quite surreal as everything just seemed to be coming to my feet and everything I did seemed to come off for that five-minute spell.

"It was lucky because there were times in the first half when nothing went for me.

"You have to keep going and working hard, keep being brave and wanting the ball, even when things are not going for you as you will eventually get spells when everything goes your way."

Simpson is hoping Latics land a big club away in this afternoon's fourth-round draw.

He added that Latics must now reproduce their second-half form week in, week out in npower League One.

Simpson said he was delighted to be substituted towards the end.

He siad: "That was the first time I had played 70 minutes for a long time and was very tired.

"I was thankful for the management to bring me off as I was starting to feel tight in my groins so hopefully I have come off at the right time.

"I may have a couple of days off to let it settle down and then go again for next Saturday's game against Brentford."

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