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INTERVIEW: Felt good during the game

27 March 2015

Mark Gillespie on his return from injury

Goalkeeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us about his return to action in the Cumberland Cup game against Carlisle City on Tuesday night.

"It was frustrating to pick up the injury," he said. "That's football and you've just got to get on with it. I've done my work and it was good to get 45 minutes on Tuesday. I felt good during the game, I felt a bit stiff on Wednesday, but that's what you'd expect.

"The injury was to one of the muscles in the groin area. It's a bit too complex for me to understand completely but I've been working hard on my rehab with Dolly and I'm just hoping I can kick on and stay fit for the rest of the season." 

"I went over to Dublin three times to see a groin specialist to get help with it," he added. "He gave me some work to do and it's a medium to long term thing but, in the short term, it looks to be working. In the medium to long term over the summer I'll be able to really crack on with it, so there's no problems.

"The specialist has looked at my bio-mechanics, in terms of the way I move, so that's the programme I'm looking to change. That's why it's more of a long term thing. I'm looking forward to really getting stuck into that over the next few months."

"It's not a major issue but I'm putting stress on certain parts of my body, which is causing the odd injury," he explained. "He's looked at the way I move side to side and how I jump. It's more complex than that but those are the exercises I'm doing at the moment." 

On the background to the injury problems, he said: "I went from not playing to going straight into the first team, and playing 50 to 60 games in a season, and I think that took its toll on my body more than I realised at the time.

"I'd never really had an injury, but I've spoken to Dolly and other people who've said that once you get one you can get into a bit of a cycle. It's just a case of getting out of that cycle and I'm confident that I can stay fit for the rest of the season and into the summer.

"It isn't easy to be sat on the sidelines. You can't train or play and there isn't much else to do other than your work in the gym. It was only 4-6 weeks this time so I haven't been out as long as I have in the past. It was still frustrating because I was back in the team and we'd won three games out of five. I was feeling really good, so I was disappointed, but there's nothing you can do apart from try your best to get fit again.

"It took me a couple of games to get back into the groove after the last injury. You go on adrenaline for your first game then it catches up with you after that. We got a good win at Wimbledon and against Mansfield, then we went to Tranmere for a massive game. That was the best I'd felt coming off the pitch for a long time. To go from that high to missing out against Shrewsbury was really disappointing." 

"Something wasn't right ahead of that game and I knew I wasn't going to be able to get through it and do myself or the team justice," he admitted. "I was disappointed not to be playing, but that feeling got even worse when I found out it was going to be longer term. 

"I'm through that now and I feel ready to be back in contention for the first team. I felt good on Tuesday night and I had a bit more to do than I thought I would. I enjoyed it and now it's just a case of training as hard as I can over the next few weeks and seeing what happens. I've put a lot of hard work and time into getting fit so hopefully I'll see the results of that, if not in the coming weeks then in the coming months.

"Dan Hanford has done really well in the last few weeks. He kept a couple of clean sheets and he only conceded the penalty on Saturday, so I'll have to work hard to get my place back in the team. I know that it isn't a given. Since I've been here we've always had good goalkeepers, who all want to play, and it's no different this time round." 

"I've got a good relationship with Dan and we'll talk about any incidents in games and things like that," he said. "That's been the same whether I've been playing or he has. It's been good to see him do well in recent weeks.

"I've been with Caigy [Tony Caig] since I was 17 so he knows what I'm all about now. He knows how much I want to train and play so he gives me the time I need to do what I've got to do in the gym, and things like that." 

And on the mood in the dressing room, he said: "It's pretty good because we're unbeaten in three now. We played some really good stuff against Morecambe. We had more control in a game than we've seen for a while and probably deserved the three points. We'll be going down to Oxford confident that we can get a result.

"I'm very confident we can get the job done and climb up the table. It's a case of ticking each game off as it comes and working hard to get a positive result in as many as we can. We know we've got enough in the dressing room so it's a case of being consistent in the games." 

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