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INTERVIEW: We're a close knit bunch

5 April 2016

Keeper Mark Gillespie on the Hartlepool and Portsmouth games

Keeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us ahead of training on Monday morning about the Hartlepool home game and the defeat away at Portsmouth at the weekend.

“Saturday was going pretty much to the game plan because they weren’t prising us open,” he said. “We looked good on the break and you have to do the hard part of the job when you go to a place like Portsmouth.

“We didn’t manage to come away with anything despite doing that, and obviously that’s disappointing as a team and for me personally.”

“There’s a lot of confidence around at the moment and I think the Bristol Rovers game kick started that for us,” he continued. “We got the ball down a lot more, we passed it around and we looked like our old selves again.

“That game was a massive win for us and it’s just a shame we haven’t been able to keep the unbeaten run going. The good thing is that we looked decent performance-wise for large parts on Saturday and it will be a positive for us if we can take that into Tuesday night.”

On the goal scored by Portsmouth at the weekend, he said: “It was very disappointing. It was a basic mishandle. He cut in and took the shot and it was an error from my point of view.

“It’s one I’ll take on the chin because it’s part and parcel of being a goalkeeper. I know I can’t make too many of those but it’s happened and I’m looking forward to putting it right when I next get the opportunity.

“I’m not going to hide away from the fact I’ve cost the lads some points. However, if you look over the full season I’d like to think I’ve pulled my weight as well. It’s a team game and part of being a keeper is that it’s highlighted if you do make a mistake. 

“That’s something I’ve dealt with since I was six-years old so, as I say, I’m not going to hide away from it. I’ll get on with it and hopefully train well and, if I get the chance, I’ll look to make up for it in the forthcoming games.”

“Michael Raynes spoke about mistakes recently and he explained that it’s been him, it’s been me and it’s been strikers and midfield players at the other end,” he commented. “We’re a close knit bunch and they’ve all helped me through it.

“I think I’ve bailed a few of them out over the course of the season so we really are all in this together. As the manager said, I was definitely the most disappointed person on the team bus and I had a stew over it over the weekend. 

“Once you walk into the building on Monday morning it’s gone. It’s now about putting it right. I do pride myself on not making mistakes, and I know it was a mistake which cost us, but all I can do is get on with my job and try to do the best I can.”

Looking ahead to tonight’s game in hand, he said: “If we win it will take us to a point behind the play-offs. It’s a long old season and we’re into the final straight and we’ve given ourselves a real chance.

“I think we’d have taken that at the start of the season. Hartlepool are on a good run, we know that, so it’ll be a really tough game. Hopefully the crowd will get behind us and we’ll get the result.

“It was a great day over at their place earlier in the season. It was one of the highlights so far, particularly with all of our fans going mental when we scored behind their goal. That sticks in the memory, but they’ll be thinking about it as well.

“There are a few familiar faces coming back to Carlisle for them but we’re up for it. Billy Paynter obviously comes here in good form and he did me on the penalty in the game at their place. We’ll look to keep him quiet and we’ll try to get the win we need.”

“Overall it’s been a good season for us,” he concluded. “We’ve won more games than we’ve lost and we’re going in the right direction as a club again. 

“It’s been a funny old year with a lot of different things going on, with the floods and the cup runs, and things like that, but we can be pleased with what we’re doing with our football. It’ll be a massive bonus if we can finish it on a high and get into the play-offs.”

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