In the final part of our interview with Jon-Paul McGovern he spoke to us about his pre-season injury concerns, the emergence of a young winger as competition and his links with a move away from Brunton Park during the closed season.
He said: “I’m just getting back to full fitness now if I’m being honest.
“I had a double hernia operation and missed most of pre-season, and then I was actually in hospital on the Wednesday before the season kicked off with a burst blood vessel and an infection.
“I had to fight against that and try to play catch-up at the same time. There are no excuses there because I’m playing and I have to be judged on what I produce. I’ve been involved in creating chances so far and that’s my job but, like I say, I know I need to get more goals.”
On his role in the team, he added: “I think anyone involved in football sees certain things in the game that fans don’t.
“I think the manager knows I cover the ground and I work to the shape, so if he’s given me specific orders on what to do to stop the opposition from playing then I’m going to do it.
“Brad Potts has come in and done really well and it’s been my job to play in a little bit more of a defensive way to protect him, and I don’t think everyone sees that. I think they expect me to be tearing up the wing and attacking all the time, and I can live with that because it’s all about opinion. I know I’m doing my job and the manager and players appreciate that.
“If I’m not in the team it’ll mean I’m not doing my job and I’ll have to work harder. Again, it’s been that way all through my career and that’s not something which will ever change.”
And with the emergence of Dave Symington following some excellent performances from the bench during the early part of the season, the United wide man admitted that there is now genuine competition for places.
“It’s really interesting at the moment,” he said. “He’s a great talent from what I’ve seen and he has a bit of everything.
“He’s just learning the game and I’d like to think I can be part of that process for him. He has the raw attributes with the pace and the power, and his shooting is a real threat. He’s only going to get better in my opinion and I just hope that I can help him along the way.”
“Having said that it’s still about me performing and doing well so that I can keep people at bay,” McGovern continued.
“Dave is no different because we both want to start, so it’s up to me to stop him from getting the nod. However, during the week we work together and I can help him with his crossing and movement. On the flip side I can definitely learn from his shooting because some of the things he can do with that are superb.”
As for the future, he told us: “I came to Carlisle hoping that it would be a project in terms of how it would go for me and I seemed to take a fair bit of stick during the summer because people weren’t sure what I was doing.
“I don’t remember doing an interview anywhere where I said I wanted to leave. In fact, I’ve never ever said I wanted to leave.
“I’m very settled here. My missus and little boy come to the games and he loves being here in his Carlisle strip. That’s important for me because it helps to make me feel settled.
“There was a lot of talk about me moving on, but that’s all it was. It was paper talk that was the result of a few different things. Yes, I did have contact with a couple of managers but that was simply because I’d done well for Carlisle.
“It’s nice for people to suggest that they would like to have you but my position was that I was a Carlisle United player and I’m happy with that. I want to be playing and I want to be successful so that’s all I’ll keep trying to do.”
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