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A LONG TIME COMING

6 September 2012

Mark Gillespie on his first start

Keeper Mark Gillespie made his starting debut for the club against Preston North End on Tuesday night and faced the high drama of a penalty shoot-out as he put an uncomplicated and solid performance under his belt.

We spoke to him at full time to get his thoughts on the night.

He said: "It's great that I got the start but all I feel is disappointment at this moment in time.

"The penalties didn't go the way I envisaged but I'm pleased with what I did overall. The start has been a long time coming and I'm pleased to get it out of the way."

"I was told I was going to be involved on Monday afternoon by Tony Caig," he explained. "The gaffer hadn't named the team but he wanted me to be able to prepare mentally, so he told Caigy to let me know. I was excited and nervous but it was just a case of preparing myself properly."

"There were definitely more nerves around before kick off for me because it was a real game," he told us. "I thought I coped with it well though and I really enjoyed being part of it.

"It was nice from the fans when they started singing my name and that actually helped to get my confidence going."

"When they got their goal I just wondered if it was going to be my night," he added. "He shanked the volley and it ricocheted all over the place, and I hadn't even touched the ball by the time it hit the back of the net.

"We all recovered from that and I thought we dominated the game. The way we played meant I got an easy ride because I didn't have that much to do. We're kicking ourselves in the dressing room that we didn't win the game, but we have plenty to take from the performance."

"When it came to the penalties Tony Caig just told me it was my chance to be a hero," he said. "He talked about a few of the shoot-outs he'd been involved with and gave me a few tips on how to treat it all. 

"I've never been involved in one before, not even at youth level, so it was a new experience. I'm glad I saved one but I'm gutted that we lost the game that way. 

"When I got to that one I did allow myself to think that it was going to be my night after all. Anything can happen with penalties though and, like I say, it's just disappointing that we didn't go through."

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Mark Gillespie later today. For more information on United Player, and to subscribe, click HERE.

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