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INTERVIEW: It's what I'm there for

30 September 2013

Mark Gillespie on his man of the match performance

Keeper Mark Gillespie admitted on Saturday evening that his man-of-the-match display against Notts County was ‘right up there’ with the best performances he has given since he claimed the number one shirt as his own just under 50 appearances ago. 

“I think it’s definitely right up there,” he agreed. “We came under a lot of pressure in the second half and I had to make a few saves. That’s what I’m there for, though, and we got the win. That always makes it feel a bit better.”

“You do enjoy the saves but you have to put it behind you and keep your concentration during the game,” he added. “I was a bit disappointed with the goal they scored, if I’m honest. 

“He hit it from 25-yards so it’s one I’ll need to look at again. However, it doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative, you need to concentrate on what’s in front of you and not on what has just happened. You can’t really relax until the final whistle goes.”

“I don’t think we were at our best in this game,” he said. “We didn’t reach the levels we were at last week and defensively we weren’t as solid as we were against Sheffield United. 
“Credit has to go to Notts County for that because they dragged us all over the place at times. We dug in, and I had to step up a few times, but we stuck together and got the result.”

And on the upturn in results over the last three weeks, he said: “The staff have come in and they have made a difference. It felt like the pressure was lifted to a certain extent but I think there were glimpses of how we could defend before that at Brentford and at Colchester. It was just a case of getting it right at home.

“Everyone wants to play now. There was possibly a bit of fear and hesitancy a few weeks ago because we were on a bad run. We’ve managed to turn that round and it feels better for everyone. 

“There is a lot of confidence around at the moment but that’s what winning brings. Even when we were conceding goals I felt that I was playing quite well, but you do question yourself. I was letting three, four or five goals in each game and that isn’t nice. It’s much better when you’re keeping the score down or getting clean sheets.”

“The three wins in a row is massive for everyone,” he admitted. “It was in the back of my mind when they scored that we’d have to listen to people saying that we can’t win three on the trot again so, yes, it does get to you. I think we showed a belief that we could turn it round, despite going behind, and that was the main reason why we got the three points.”

“It is nice when your name gets read out for man of the match,” he told us. “The fans have been fantastic with me from the moment I got here and those who are coming this season have really stuck with us. 

“Hopefully we can keep this run of results going for them and we can make Brunton Park a place where teams know they are going to have to work hard and play well if they want to win.”

Looking back at the first six games of the season, he said: “That wasn’t nice for anyone. I was gutted when Greg had to leave because he did a lot for me on a personal level. 

“That was the same for a lot of the players in our dressing room. He put a good set of lads together and we all know we can be a good team.

“When Greg left it felt like it was down to us. We knew those results couldn’t go on and maybe it shocked some of us. The manager had been there since I was at the club and it was the first time a lot of the younger players had seen something like that.

“I think, as professionals, you have to put things like the manager situation to the back of your mind. All we can do is go into every training session to work as hard as we can. The fact that we’ve got three wins speaks volumes for what Kav, Davie Irons and Tony Caig have done. 

“We knew we had to buck our ideas up and they’ve done a fantastic job in turning things round. There’s a real positivity around the place now. Hopefully the situation will be resolved on Monday so that we can go on together as a group.”

“I don’t see why we can’t get three points at Shrewsbury,” he concluded. “It’s a game we can look forward to with the form we’re in and we’ll certainly be going there to win it.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Mark Gillespie 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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