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INTERVIEW: I'm delighted with how I'm playing

10 October 2016

Keeper Mark Gillespie on Morecambe and clean sheets

Keeper Mark Gillespie kept his fifth clean sheet of the season at Morecambe at the weekend as he helped his side to maintain the record-making start to the season.

We spoke to him about the game and about his own impressive form as the focus switches to the Hartlepool home fixture this coming weekend.

“There were spells in the game where Morecambe put us under pressure and the ball was bouncing around the box at times,” he said. “They did have their periods where they made it difficult for us but I thought we deserved the win overall.

“We managed to get on top and it became a fantastic day for us and the fans. The supporters were with us in great numbers again so it was important for us to do things properly. We managed that and with the three goals and the clean sheet it made it a really good result.”

“When you have that amount of fans you really do want to put on a show,” he added. “We felt we owed them a little bit from Blackpool, because we got ourselves two goals up there and we didn’t see it through.

“In the end we let them down with the way we folded, but we learned from it. We held firm against Morecambe even though they did have a couple of chances. We defended well and credit to the lads at the other end because they put their chances away. We’ve needed to do that a few times this season but we’re pleased that we managed to do it for this one.”

Speaking about his own form, he said: “I’m delighted with how I’m playing. I’m feeling confident and fit and I’m just trying to tick each game off as it comes along. I’m working hard to keep the standards high and I’m concentrating on working well with the back four.

“We know each other now and we understand how we all play the game. We’re obviously building on the fact we’re getting the clean sheets. It’s been a good start for us in terms of that and we have so much quality at the other end that we always expect to score. It’s then down to keeping the trapdoor shut, as we are at the moment.”

On being part of a club record, with the team now 12 league games unbeaten, he said: “All we can do is take each game as it comes. The unbeaten record is a nice thing to have but we know teams will want to beat us even more as each week goes on.

“Hartlepool will be no different. They’ll bring their fair share of supporters, but hopefully our fans will respond and we’ll take another good result out of it. It’s early days but we’re sending a message out at the moment.

“I’ve been here a long time and it means a lot to be part of a club record. I’ve walked off the pitch plenty of times with my head down, when things weren’t going so well, but it’s lovely to see the fans getting the rewards they deserve after what they’ve been through.

“I’m delighted to be part of it and long may it continue. The league table makes good viewing at the moment but we still think it can be even better.

“If you look at this game, Morecambe is a hard place to come but we’ve managed to beat them by three clear goals. We’re not going to start taking anything for granted, because that’s when you come undone, but we do feel we’re good enough to go up against anybody.”

Having missed out on the away day games at Morecambe through injury for both previous visits, he admitted it was nice to finally get out there to experience the atmosphere on what is always a big day for both clubs.

“I suppose it was third time lucky,” he told us. “I’ve had to watch from the stands for the last two, and I have to say it looked a good place to be today. The fans were having a fantastic time!

“Seriously, though, it’s much better to be out on the pitch and doing your bit. Mind you, the smiles in the away end were good to see. Yet again, the number of fans we take to these games shows what this club could do.

“Whether it’s Anfield or the long trips to London, they’re always there to support us. Hopefully the numbers will build as we keep this form going and everything is really positive at the moment.”

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