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INTERVIEW: Enjoyed being out there again

13 January 2015

Mark Gillespie on being back in the side

Keeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us about his return to action for the home game against Cambridge last Saturday. 

“It’s been a long road to recovery but I’m pleased to be back on the pitch now,” he said. “Obviously I’m gutted about the result because I thought we did enough to get at least a point.

“We probably did enough to win the game. They’ve had a shot from the edge of the box, which took a deflection, and that’s where your luck is when you’re down the bottom of the league.”
  
“It was a frustrating goal to concede from a keeper’s point of view,” he told us. “It didn’t travel much from the initial shot, so I don’t if it was on target or going wide.

“It wasn’t exactly a clean strike but it seemed to pick up pace once it came off Antony Sweeney. It ended up in the bottom corner and that didn’t give me much chance to do anything about it. 

“It’s even more frustrating because they didn’t carve us open and it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get something. You can’t fault the effort and determination from the lads but we just couldn’t get the goal we needed.”

“I was pleased with how it went for me,” he confirmed. “I didn’t have loads to do, which is how I like it, but everything was tidy and solid. 

“I got the nod I was playing on Friday morning. I was quite surprised because I’ve only trained for a few weeks. Obviously I was on the bench so it was the next step for me to make. I enjoyed being out there again.” 

Speaking about the keeper’s union, he said: “Dan [Hanford] was brilliant for me. We always stick together anyway and I’ve backed him all the way while he’s been doing the job. He was the first to wish me all the best because we work hard together and we push each other on. 

“It’s been such a frustrating period because I’ve probably watched more football than I’ve played over the last year. Injuries are part of the game and hopefully I’m past that now. It’s more the mental side which is difficult, because you have to keep yourself going when all you’ve got is going in the gym and rehab exercises.” 

“I do think I’ve still got something to prove,” he agreed. “The gaffer won’t have seen me play too many times, but hopefully I’ve done enough to give him something to think about next week.

“I felt ok, even though it was tricky with the conditions and the distances involved. I haven’t done much of the 11v11 stuff so it’s about getting that back. I was quite pleased with my kicking but you do obviously need games to get your rhythm fully back.

“The good thing is I’ve had good people around me. My family and friends have been superb and Dolly has been fantastic with me. Along with Lee Fearn, they’ve helped me to get back in pretty good time. I’ve got to thank them for that.”

On the current situation, he said: “You completely understand the frustration from the fans. The things which have gone on over the last few weeks haven’t helped matters, but we can reassure the fans we’re all on board and we all want to do as well as we can for this club. 

“Nobody wants to be part of back-to-back relegations so it’s in our best interests to pull forward. Everyone is disappointed, but so are we. The lads are together. There’s not as many loan players this season and it’s a tight knit dressing room. 

“It’s ready to go and ready to battle week in and week out. The performance wasn’t always pleasing on the eye but if we keep doing what we’re doing I think we’ll be fine.

“I think it’s human nature to look at the league table after the game. It isn’t nice to see that we’re down there but all we can do now is focus on performances and hopefully, in turn, that will bring results.”

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