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INTERVIEW: Clean sheet is massive for us

6 October 2015

Mark Gillespie on his first clean sheet of the season

Goalkeeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us following the Stevenage game in which he saved a penalty to help to gain the club's first clean sheet of the season.

"The clean sheet is massive for us," he said. "It's taken longer than we would have liked to get it, but we felt as a group it was coming.

"It's big for myself and the defenders. It's been well documented that we've conceded a few goals so it's nice to produce one where we score one goal and it's the classic 1-0 away victory.

"It gives us a lot of confidence going into next week. We kept Stevenage at arm's length and without being brilliant we looked pretty solid. When the referee pointed to the spot you do start to think the luck is against you. I managed to make the save, which was pleasing for me, and to get the three points after that was fantastic."

"Saving penalties does give you confidence," he told us. "I don't think I can take anything from the Liverpool saves because it's a different game against different players. I decided I would try and react to the ball today and I managed to block it. That's how it goes sometimes.

"We did a bit of research and I know he missed his last penalty, so that also gives you a bit of confidence. He decided to smash it down the middle and I stayed big to make the save. Credit to the coaching staff for doing the research and I managed to put it into practice."

On the half time team talk, which Keith Curle suggested contained some strong words, he said: "The gaffer reminded us of our standards at half time and he told us we weren't living up to them. We probably didn't in the second half either to be honest. It wasn't a great performance all but it's the sign of a good team when you don't play well and win.

"I thought Raynesy [Michael Raynes] was outstanding at the back and Troy [Archibald-Henville] came on and headed everything they threw at us towards the end. It was a solid defensive display."

On his recent form, he told us: "I've managed to play a few games in a row now which I hadn't done since my first injury. It's about staying in the team. I knew if I could get a run of games my confidence would come back and my performances would improve. That's what's happened so far and I'm feeling good and enjoying my football.

"To be in a team that's pushing at the right end of the table is a bit different because we haven't had that for the last few years. It's good to see how the fans who follow us a long way are reacting to the results as well. 

"They had a lot of miles to cover to go to two tough games last week and we've taken six points. We need to back that up at home now for the loyal fans who will be at Brunton Park next weekend." 

We couldn't let him go without a brief look back at the Anfield experience.

"Liverpool was the best night in my career so far," he admitted. "I enjoyed it and we gave a fantastic account of ourselves but, like the manager has said, it's gone now. It's one to look back on with fond memories.

"We showed how good we were that night and we need to keep backing that up like we have in the last two games. The game is gone but it's nice to have saved penalties against Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho.

"It's really good to have them to look back on but they didn't get us the win - my save at Stevenage did, so I'll take that every day of the week!"

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