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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Things are looking up

11 April 2014

Keeper on his road back to fitness

Keeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us this week about his long road back to full fitness.

“Things are looking up for me because I’m back in training this week,” he said. “It’s not quite full training yet but I’m stepping things up and I’m looking forward to three or four weeks of more intense stuff between now and the end of the season.

“I’ve decided that I’m not going to have much of a break in the summer because I want to come back for pre-season raring to go. It’s hard to explain how frustrating this has been because I’ve never been through anything like it before. 

“I seem to get to a stage where I’m able to say that I’m ready to get involved and then I hit another set back of some kind. I think that’s all behind me now so I’m looking forward to getting some proper football under my belt again.”

“I don’t mind saying I am a bit nervous about getting back into training but I think that’s part and parcel of a situation like this,” he told us. “I just need to fully test the knee, be involved again and I’m sure I’ll be able to kick on again from there. I think it’ll be on my mind before the first few sessions but I’ll get that out of my system once I’m into it.”

But the young stopper admitted that he still likes to do what he can to help even though he isn’t involved at the sharp end of things at this moment in time.

“It is strange in the dressing room on a match day when you know you’re not part of it,” he explained. “I talk to a few of the lads but, to be honest, they need to get on with their own preparation. 

“My focus has to be on myself because I know I need to get fit. Hopefully they’ll keep doing well out on the pitch because the place has been buzzing after the win at the weekend.

“I do talk to Jordan [Pickford] quite a lot because we like working together. He’s been keeping a lot of clean sheets and that’s massively important for the team. If he keeps doing that it’s good for all of us. It’s a position where every fit keeper is chomping at the bit to be in the team, but we all help each other as well.”

“I think the win on Saturday was a result that’s been coming,” he said. “We’ve all seen how good the performances have been and we could go on a bit of a run now. Everyone is determined to have a good end to the season and I’m sure that’s what will happen.

“My own plan is to support the lads through the next six games and to work as hard as I can for the next few months. I’ll be pushing myself through the summer to make sure I’m as fit as I possibly can be. It has to be my aim to kick on again next season.”

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