Part one of an interview with JP McGovern

We took the opportunity to sit down with Jon-Paul McGovern at the end of last week to cover a number of issues as the midfielder continues to work his way back to full match fitness following a pre-season double hernia operation.

Speaking about being first-up for the penalty shoot-out in the JPT clash with Preston North End, he said: “In that situation you just have to be brave enough to take one. Then you hope you’ll score yours and that everyone else will follow on and do the same.

“I’ve managed to score a few in the shoot-outs I’ve been involved with during my career and I always like to go first. If it hits the back of the net then it should give a bit of confidence to those who are due to come next. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way for us against Preston, but that’s just one of those things.”

And on that game as a whole, he added: “It was a frustrating one for us because we wanted to get the goals as much as the fans and coaching staff wanted us to. Preston set up to stop us playing and you just have to be patient. 

“My game is about providing the chances and that’s what I try to do every time I go on the pitch. It’s always good to be involved and to get on the end of a few if they come your way. I want to try and get on the ball more and work hard as the season goes on, and if I do that then hopefully I’ll keep helping the front-men out.”

Having forged an excellent working relationship with striker Lee Miller last season we wondered how much the balance of the side had been affected since the news of his long-term injury absence filtered through.

“We are missing Lee Miller, which everyone talks about a lot, but it’s important to remember we’re not a one-man team,” he told us. “We need to get on with it without him, that’s football, and the manager has assembled a squad here which is good enough to go on and do well. It’s up to us to react to that and produce the goods.”

It was McGovern’s stunning  goal early in the second half, of course, which took the Tuesday night game to spot kicks come full time.

“That one fell to me and I managed to get a good strike,” he explained. “I do work hard on that kind of thing in training. I stay behind with Tony Caig and the keepers to do a bit of shooting practice and sometimes it pays off. 

“It is part of my game which I think I need to add to. Creating chances is obviously the main focus of what I do, but I think if you are chipping in with five or ten goals a season from wide then it’s not a bad return.”

In the second part of this interview, on the official website later tonight, Jon-Paul McGovern talks candidly and honestly about the celebrations in front of the Paddock following his goal in that game against Preston North End. 
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