Mark Gillespie on pre-season and situations to learn from
United keeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us about the Workington game and the importance of pre-season shortly after full time at Borough Park on Tuesday night.
“I think pre-season is going well on a personal level,” he said. “It’s still early days, and you have to get into it stride by stride, but I’m enjoying it.
“I can feel myself getting sharper all the time. The pitch time I’ve had so far has helped to get the kicking, catching and communication going again and it’s about improving all-round as we go through this month.”
“The fact that I know the gaffer is looking for a keeper to push me all the way is bound to keep me on my toes,” he agreed. “It means I can’t rest on my laurels and I know I have to keep looking to drive my own standards up. I don’t think that can be a bad thing for anyone.
“I am feeling really confident. Someone else will come in to challenge and it’s going to be up to me to keep that position as mine. These games give me the opportunity to try and be as consistent as possible so that I can make sure it is me who is in the team come August.”
And on the Workington game, he said: “I do enjoy the pre-season games but I think we all know we weren’t good enough as a team in this one.
“We all need to be better and that should happen as we go into these last few weeks of pre-season. The thing for all of us is that it’s a new season and a new start and everyone is in a position where we want to give our absolute all. We’re feeling confident about what we can do in the league this year and hopefully it’ll all come together for us.”
“I was obviously very disappointed to concede the penalty and I know that’s something I need to work on,” he added. “I didn’t think the challenge had too much in it, if I’m honest.
“The ball came over the top and I ran out to try to deal with it. The lad ran into me more than anything else, but you accept when you come that far out that you have to get it exactly right.
“Like I say, I know that area of decision making in my game is something I need to work on and I’ll continue to do that.
“I’m getting much better at dealing with things like that during in a game. If mistakes are made you have to move on and make sure you don’t dwell on it, because that can affect your performance. Things will happen, that’s the same for any player, and it’s how you react that matters.
“Hopefully I’ll keep that mental strength because I learned from a couple of things I had to deal with last season. Again, it’s about learning from every situation and making sure that you get better and better as you go on.”
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