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INTERVIEW: Finish with a flourish

11 April 2013

JP McGovern on the Doncaster game

Midfielder Jon-Paul McGovern spoke to us shortly after full time on Tuesday evening to give us his reaction to what was an excellent team performance.

“I thought that was a win we definitely deserved,” he said. “The surface and the way they play were always going to make it a tough game. 

“They like to get it up to their big men but we had a game plan, and we got a little bit of luck to get in front with that deflected free kick. I think the 4-3-3 system is working well for us at the moment. We’ve had to chop and change it through the season but we’re getting the breaks with it at the moment and we’re working really hard for each other.”

“I think as we were coming to the ground for the game we saw on TV that they [Doncaster] only need two more wins to clinch promotion,” he continued. “I don’t think too many people will have backed us to come here and get a result. We’ve proved that we are more than capable of mixing it with the best teams in this division, particularly in these last few games.”

“When we got the free kick I spoke to Nobsa [Liam Noble] and all he said was ‘don’t be silly’ because he wanted to take it,” he told us. “He got the goal so it’s very hard to argue with him about it. I thought he was going to go for a wall blubber, but it went in and it’s ended up as a great goal. 

“If he’d missed I think I’d have walked over to him and said – don’t be silly Nobsa! I’d definitely have been taking the next one, let’s put it that way. 

“We had a bit of banter on the pitch but it’s one of those where, if it comes off, then you’re delighted. I’d like to think he’d be just as happy if it was me getting a goal. Performance wise he has been different class these last few games and he has made a big difference for us. He’s showing us the player he can be and that’s why we all get onto him so much. He has the potential to go much higher.”

“We expected them to come at us in the second half but, to be fair to us, we battled and we started to play our passing game again,” he explained. “Andy Welsh had a couple of one-two’s which opened them up and the same happened for me. We didn’t just batten down the hatches and we thoroughly deserved the result we got.

“We’re in a situation now where everyone is fit and playing well and I suppose the frustrating thing is that it hasn’t always been that way this season. Having said that, it gives us great encouragement for next season.”

And on the desire to finish the season off on a high, he added: “There are people playing for contracts and there are others who want to make sure they are doing the best they can. There is always something to play for, whatever your personal situation is.

“I definitely want to stay here beyond the end of this season. I’ve never said anything different to that. There was a lot of speculation last summer but none of that ever came from me.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here and I’d like to think that I give my all for the team. There are a few people, possibly even the local press, who could do with getting behind us a lot more. There are times when I’ve been given specific roles and not everyone sees or understands that, and possibly that’s why there is some criticism. In the last few games, for example, that has been to make sure I’m giving some protection to Brad Potts. I think I’ve done that well and he has been fantastic for us at right back. Like I say, not everybody will spot it, and that’s fine, but as long as we keep getting results and I’m doing my job for the team then I’m happy.”

“I think we want to finish the season with a flourish now,” he concluded. “We all want to be as good as we can be and the contract situation does play on your mind. 

“It’s not like the Premier League where you can afford to go without anything for six months. We all have responsibilities and it makes it even more important that you have your future sorted and that you’re playing.

“Preston is a local derby so it will be a tough one. They’ll be up for it as well but we want to give the home fans something to shout about. We’re on a good run right now ... and long may it continue.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Jon-Paul McGovern now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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