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INTERVIEW: All about the result

22 February 2016

Mark Gillespie on the clean sheet against Stevenage

Goalkeeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us about the clean sheet in the victory over Stevenage on Saturday.

"There are times during the season where you aren't going to play well but it's all about the result," he said. "That's exactly the way it was with this game. We know we didn't perform, especially in the first half, but it's all about the result and three points.

"It's no good sitting here saying we played well but we didn't get the result, so the other way round is much better. There is an extra bit of satisfaction because we managed to grind the win out. I wouldn't be a very nice person to be around if we'd conceded."

"I was happy with bits and pieces I did today," he told us. "I was disappointed when I nearly gifted them a goal early on. I'm pleased with the clean sheet and I made a couple of saves, but I thought we defended pretty well as a team.

"You're going to make mistakes over a season so you've got to learn to put them out of your head. I obviously got away with one today but you've just got to block it out of your mind and concentrate on the rest of the game.

"Once I made the save and we dealt with the corner it was gone. Thankfully I managed to keep a clean sheet and I did ok for the rest of the game. I made the save to atone for my error and the other save probably came in the 86th minute, so you've got to make sure you stay switched on.

"A massive part of being a goalkeeper is in between the ears because a lot of the time you aren't part of the game. The mental side of things is important and it's just about being confident and concentrating for 90 minutes." 

"I've had my ups and downs with my injuries over the last few years but to be getting a big run of games like I am at the moment is great," he confirmed. "I've played every league game so far so it's just a case of ticking them off and keeping going.

"It's nice to be a part of a team which is competing at the right end of the table. The club showed faith in me to keep me after the two years where I didn't play as much as I wanted to. It's pleasing for me and I'm sure it's pleasing for the club that I've managed to stay fit, and I'm happy with my overall performances so far."

"Stevenage missed a few chances but I'm happy with the clean sheet," he admitted. "Jabo [Ibehre] has popped up with another important goal. As a team, we were much better in the second half, so we'll take the positives from that but we know we've got to be better.

"The wind made it difficult, especially in the second half when we were against it. You've really got to concentrate on balls over the top and your kicking, because if you don't connect with the ball it's just going to come straight back. The defenders won their headers and really helped me out today."

"Clean sheets are always a positive because they help you win games and pick up points," he said. "At the start of the season we were conceding goals quite regularly but over the last three months or so we've really clamped down on that. 

"We've closed the gap today to the play off places and that is the ultimate aim. I've looked at the scores and a lot of the teams around us won, but all we can do is concentrate on ourselves. We've got a big game on Tuesday, Wimbledon are just above us, so we're all looking forward to that.

"Our game there last year was probably one of the highlights of the season. We took a lot of fans and it was a big win at the time in one of our better performances.

"We'll remember that but we know it's going to be a tough game, they were a good side when they came here early on in the season. They're a strong, physical side but we know if we can get a good result down there it sets us up well for Morecambe on Saturday."

"All of the players are focused and our ultimate aim is the play-offs," he insisted. "There's no need to hide that because it's what everyone at the club is aiming for. If we can go and get a result on Tuesday we can get a bit of momentum and all of a sudden we'll be three unbeaten and on a good run."

"We're back into our routine now," he explained. "We're training how we normally would and the games are coming thick and fast. We've had the great cup runs and the floods which were devastating for everyone involved, but we're just focused on football now.

"We've had back-to-back home wins with back-to-back clean sheets and I think that shows we're focused and ready for the final push for the rest of the season.

"Over the last few years we've either been very good or we get turned over. This season, when we don't perform well, we've been staying in games and I think that's down to the manager and the players he's brought in. The players are showing more character and belief and I think that's key."

"We're still twelfth but as the results come and we start playing some of our games in hand we can start moving up the table," he said. "When you look at the table and see yourself seventh or eighth it gives you that extra confidence because you know you're right in the mix.

"It's good for the club and the players to know the manager is here for the long term. He's got a long term plan and everyone is focused on the job at hand."

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