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INTERVIEW: I'm not even thinking about it

Jon Mellish on confidence and form

6 November 2020

Eight goals in nine games isn’t a bad return from anybody, and that’s exactly what we’ve had from midfielder Jon Mellish with him having added to his tally with a brace against league leaders Newport County on Tuesday night.

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Speaking about his impressive haul, he said: “I was hoping I’d have a few goals by now but to already have eight is a lot more than I thought.

“I’m not complaining, hopefully I can keep going and get a lot more. I was always confident that once I’d got the first goal the rest would follow. I got into a lot of positions before I scored my first one and had a lot of chances, and it was just about taking them.

“As soon as I got the first one the pressure was gone and now, when I’m getting the chances, I’m not even thinking about it, I’m just taking the shot. It’s been nice and hopefully it continues.

“I could have had more goals on Tuesday night as well. I had a couple in the box where my touch was a bit off, but at times I was tired when it was coming to me. It would be nice to get a hattrick at some point!”

We took the opportunity to try to get him, once again, to reveal what the goal target was that he’d set himself back at the beginning of September.

“All I’ll say is that the goal target I set myself for the season isn’t far away already,” he replied. “Hopefully I can smash that and just keep going.

“There has been a couple of decent ones – it was nice to score against Sunderland, but I think my first goal against Newport felt better because it was a better strike.

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“I was able to get it out of my feet and hit it well, but they were both decent and hopefully I can get a few more of those sorts of goals.

“It helps that I do feel really comfortable in midfield now. It took a few games to get going in terms of my positioning and where to be. At times I think I was running too much and not getting in good positions.

“I feel like now I’m learning a lot and reading the game better. Hopefully the more games I play the better I’ll get.

“I’m learning loads from the players I’m playing next to but I don’t think you can pick anyone out, it’s been a real team effort. I can’t wish for much more when I’m playing with players like Joe [Riley] and Callum [Guy], they’re doing just as much running as me and it’s great to see.

“If one of us can’t win it then there’s always someone else there to do it. We all back each other up and it’s a real team effort. It’s nice to be part of that.

“I’m chuffed for Lewi [Alessandra] to get another goal as well, he deserves it. He does a lot of good work for us and keeps the ball so he can link up play, so it’s nice for him to get another one.”

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With a month like the one he’s just had, it goes without saying that confidence is high.

“I am feeling really confident, it’s massive for me at the moment,” he revealed. “I feel like I’m going to score every time I go onto the pitch which is a really nice feeling to have.

“The lads are the same in the dressing room, the first few games were hard but we’re going into every game thinking we can get the three points now, and that’s what you want.

“It was good to get a win after the Exeter game, which I didn’t think we deserved to lose. We played well in the first half down there but we started the second half a bit slowly, which they punished us for. The red card made it difficult, but we played well again in midweek and got what we deserved.

“I think we’ve been wanting to put a really good performance in against a top side and that’s what we did. Apart from the last 10 minutes we did really well in stopping them play.

“Their first goal was their first real chance of getting the ball into the box. We’re a bit disappointed with how it ended but we’ll learn from that.”

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And on the style of play, which has really got the fans talking, he commented: “The big thing with how we play is that we work hard and get in their faces, and not many teams can live with us at the moment.

“It’s hard to do it for the full 90 minutes, and maybe that showed a bit at the end on Tuesday. For me, I just like to cover as much ground as I can and try to help the strikers by getting into the area and causing a bit of confusion.

“Coming from deep I can see a bit more and time it better to get into those little holes. It seems to be working at the minute.

“The only really disappointing game was our first one against Cambridge where nothing really went right. It took us a few games to get going, to be fair, but we’ve been the better team in most games this season.”

Next up for the Blues is the weekend FA Cup trip to face Hayes & Yeading United.

“It’s a good competition to be involved in and they’ll definitely be up for it,” he said. “They’ve been on a good run as well, so we definitely won’t be taking anything for granted.

“They’ll make us work hard and they’ll push us all the way, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a game to look forward to and one we’ll want to win.”

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