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Interviews

INTERVIEW: I didn't feel any pressure

20 May 2016

Mark Gillespie on the Liverpool and Everton cup games

In the second part of our interview with Mark Gillespie he told us about his memories of that night at Anfield where the Blues took Liverpool to a penalty shoot-out.

"Anfield was unbelievable," he admitted. "Hearing people talk about it at the awards night showed how much it meant to everyone. It's one the fans will never forget and it's definitely one I'll never forget. We wanted to do ourselves proud and we definitely did that, so it's one to remember.

"The penalty shoot-out is just a blur, to be honest. I didn't feel any pressure because I just wanted to enjoy it. When Can dinked the second one I just thought 'here we go, they're taking the mick!

"I managed to save Lallana's but I still go to sleep thinking about the Danny Ings penalty. It missed my foot by about an inch and if I'd saved it we would have taken it to sudden death. Who knows, if we'd got that far we could have been talking about one of the greatest shocks.

"To play well against those players gave us great confidence, and we really pushed on from that. They're fantastic players and that's why you want to be playing football. You want to be able to say you've played against the best players in the world."

On the Everton FA Cup game at Brunton Park, which saw a bumper attendance of 17,101, he told us: "The Everton game was massive as well.

"We didn't manage to match the Liverpool performance but it was still a great experience." 

With a full season now under his belt he insisted that he won't be taking anything for granted when preparations for the new campaign begin in June.

"I know I'll have to try and re-establish my right to have the starting place," he continued. "That's how it's been since I came here. We've had some really good goalkeepers here over the years, so whoever comes in I know it will be tough.

"I'll have a break then I'll get back in the gym and get myself going again because the target is to make sure it's my name on the team sheet come the start of the season.

"I'm in a good position where my contract is in place for another year and I've been lucky enough to have always had it sorted since I've been here. I know that might not be the case next year. I've got to do all I can to make sure I'm in the team by working as hard as I can."

"As I say, I've just come through my first full season so I'll make sure I have a look back at it all," he said. "I want to improve all areas of my game. I think the sending off, for whatever reason, knocked my confidence a little bit and I had a couple of dips after that.

"I was disappointed with the Portsmouth goal for example, because it was a big game, but it happens and I thought I reacted well. You see goalkeepers at the top end of the game making mistakes so it's something I'll always have to deal with.

"It's all experience and I'll look to learn from it. I've learned a lot so, looking ahead to next season, hopefully it will be one to remember."

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