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INTERVIEW: It was a professional performance

Gav Skelton with reaction to the victory over Newport

11 March 2020

The Blues recorded a comfortable home victory over Newport County at Brunton Park on Tuesday evening and we spoke to Gav Skelton shortly after full time about what had been another solid performance.

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“It was a good victory after Saturday,” he said. “It was good to bounce back and be comfortable. We played some good stuff at times, a bit more football, and we’re delighted to get back to winning ways.

“After what was a poor game for us against Colchester we needed that kind of response. You’re always desperate to get back to positive ways, and we did that. We started well, created some good opportunities, got in front, kicked on, and the goal tally could have been more.

“It’s always dangerous when you’re only two goals ahead because if they get one, no matter how much you feel in command, it can start to feel that they’re getting back at you. Although you’re desperate to keep going forward and win by more goals, it was a professional and comfortable victory for us in the end.”

Having got in front so early in the game, he commented: “It does settle you down. I thought, funnily enough, that we started well against Colchester, but unfortunately didn’t get the goal.

“Tonight we did and we capitalised on it. You could see everyone get a lift, confidence grew and I thought we put in a really confident performance. With every game you play, all you want to do is win.

“Football is about winning and every three points is vital. You’re disappointed after Saturday, of course you are, but you also know that if you win against Newport it means you’ve won two out of three.

“It gives us something we can hopefully build on as we go into two very tough away games. It’s funny, we’ve drawn a lot of games, you look at the fact we’re not getting beat and we’re picking up points.

“Now we’ve had two good performances, one bad one, and picked up six points. You take that hit if you know it’s coming because it’s pleasing to turn those draws into wins.”

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Looking back at the opening goal, it came from another well delivered set piece situation, with Elliot Watt picking up another assist as he found Omari Patrick with his near post corner.

“It is something you work on and concentrate on, but the basic matter is if you have good delivery and people attack it, it gives you a really good chance,” Skelton said. “Elliot’s deliveries are really good. We scored one from that and we created other opportunities.

“If people are prepared to put their head on it and attack it, you have a chance. If you score one or two, people get that feeling that it’s a good opportunity when we get a set piece. At the moment we’re on a good run with that, and hopefully it’ll continue.

“Quite a high percentage of goals in this league come from set plays so it’s something we look to capitalise on with good deliveries and people attacking the ball.

“Omari got there with his header and it was on target. I thought he was really good overall. He caused them some real problems. He’s got excellent ability on the ball, good pace, and when he has the confidence to go direct at people, he becomes a handful. He got a reward for a good performance.”

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And the second goal, of course, came from a cool approach from teenager Josh Kayode who immediately snapped up the ball to place it on the spot as soon as the referee blew his whistle.

“Bridgey was lying on the ground, I think, after he’d been fouled so it was up for grabs,” he said. “I spoke to Josh about it before the game, he had two goals in two starts, so he was keen.

“He’s quiet, but he’s very confident, and he wanted to make it three goals in three starts. I thought the penalty was excellent. The keeper knew where he was going but he struck it really clean and I’m really pleased for him.

“Josh is a striker and he wants to score goals. I saw him at Gateshead, he was confident, did well, and it did him the world of good there. He’s jumped up two leagues and is showing good signs of progressing.

“There’s still a lot more improvement in him but he’s willing to run and work hard, and if you do that people buy into you. Your teammates and crowd buy into you, and he gains confidence from that. All round he’s another who gave a good performance.”

And that performance also once again demonstrated the character within the ranks with the players having got over the setback of the disappointing Colchester result.

“We signed well in January, brought some good characters in, and that’s showing now,” he explained. “They’ve got good spirit in terms of that determination, and to bounce back from Saturday was vital, so I’m really pleased for them.

“We’re up to 42 points now, and there is a big gap, but that doesn’t take away that edge. You have to look at it as yes, we’ve got away from the bottom, but let’s now pull those teams above us closer and see if we can get above them. There won’t be a dead rubber in any of these games for us.”

And on the absence of Harry McKirdy, he told us: “That was an injury. He didn’t train yesterday [Monday] so wasn’t available. It’s a thigh injury, he’s under the treatment of Dolly, and we’ll just have to see how that goes before we look at availability for the weekend.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Gav Skelton on iFollow United now.

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