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INTERVIEW: You don't go this many games unless you've got something

20 September 2016

Keeper Mark Gillespie on the Blackpool game

United keeper Mark Gillespie put on another excellent display in front of just under 2,800 travelling fans in the away end on Saturday as he made a string of fine saves to keep the half time scoreboard all level at 0-0.

And he admitted that he was pleased to do his bit, despite being disappointed that the blistering start to the second half hadn’t led to the capture of all three points.

“I always want to contribute to every performance as much as I can, and that’s even more the case when they’re as noisy as that,” he said. “It’s quality to see that level of support and it just shows what this club could go on to do if we had a bit of continued success, so that’s what we’re striving towards.

“I was pleased to make a couple of saves late in the first half because it would have been a bit of a blow to go into the break behind. Doing it in front of those fantastic away fans was unbelievable. Support like that is amazing to see and it’s great to play in front of it.

“The good thing is they’re coming at the moment because they know they’re going to see their team trying to win the game. We gave them something to shout about and hopefully they enjoyed the day out.”

On who had the bragging rights when he caught up with his old team mates Brad Potts and Tom Aldred later that day, he said: “I think it was shared rights, to be honest, but I was disappointed from my own point of view that we’d got ourselves two goals up only to not see the game out.

“Brad and Tom both said they were disappointed to go two down, but credit to them because they showed good character to come back. We ended up with a point and we have to take the positives and the negatives out of it.

“We all obviously talked about the save before half time and luckily the chance fell to Tom because that hasn’t been one of his strengths over the years! I managed to stay big and make the save and thankfully that meant he didn’t get one over on me.”

“I’m pleased with my own form, especially away from home,” he confirmed. “We’ve been under a bit more pressure in those games because we’ve dominated most of our games at Brunton Park. I’ve been stood behind the lads watching them get on with it and it’s more about keeping your concentration when it’s like that.

“As a team we’ve been in different scenarios where we’ve had to come from behind to get something, and we had that done to us at the weekend. It’s a tough league and games change on the smallest of margins. Their first goal was an example of that because it came out of nothing and it gave them a bit of momentum.

“We started like a house on fire in the second half and I do think that if we’d got five or ten minutes to settle the game down before they scored we would have been fine. They’re a good side and I don’t think the table does them justice at the moment. What we have to do now is move on and concentrate on the good things we’re doing.”

The real positive to come out of the game was the continuation of the unbeaten run despite having come under pressure at different stages throughout the 90 minutes. And the long-serving stopper admitted that there was a determination within the dressing room was to make sure the positive start was protected.

“As I say, we’re disappointed with the result but it’s another game unbeaten and another point on the board,” he told us. “We’re on a good run at the moment and you don’t go this many games without a defeat unless you’ve got something in the dressing room.

“When it’s draws instead of wins all you can do is analyse it and look at where you could do things better. We’ll be disappointed with our overall performance from Saturday but it was a difficult game. It was a physical battle but we held our own through the first half when things weren’t going our way.

“We’re still only a win away from the automatic places but we know that staying in touch means that sooner or later we’re going to have to start winning games. That’s where our focus is.

“As I’ve said before, we’ve shown different sides to our game already this season and we’re going to need all of it going forward. We’re confident that we will start to put wins together and that will turn this run into something really impressive.

“The gaffer has put a squad together which looks good. There’s steel and determination and there’s a fair bit of quality sprinkled on top as well. We know we need to be more consistent and that we need to be at it for the 95 or 96 minutes. I’m very confident that we have enough in the dressing room for us to have a really good season.”

Looking ahead to the Wycombe home game next weekend, he said: “It’s a big game for us because it’s a chance to perform at home.

“They’ve been up and down a little bit with their form but if we can start well there’s no reason why we can’t go on and win the game. That’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”

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