Forward Lewis Alessandra is in excellent form at the moment, and it was his early goal on Saturday which set the Blues on their way to another three points as the lads bulldozered their way to a dramatic victory over Colchester.
Speaking after full time at the weekend game, he told us: “Colchester are a good side but we dominated 80-90% of the game.
“If we’d come away with nothing it would have been bitterly disappointing. We were massively on top until probably the 43rd minute of the first half. I think they only got into our final third once from a set-piece so we were disappointed to go in only 2-1 ahead.
“We reacted well to the set back of conceding the equaliser from the penalty so we’re happy to come away with the three points, but it felt like we deserved it.”
“It does feel like something has clicked for us after a slow start to the season,” he agreed. “We had a good pre-season but with a lot of new faces there was some adjusting to do.
“It feels like it’s starting to come together and we’re getting the results. There’s no better feeling than the three-point feeling on a Saturday.”
And with a string of dominant performances under the belt, we assumed that confidence must be high in the dressing room.
“The gaffer won’t allow us to accept that we’ve won two on the bounce and relax,” he insisted. “We’re a club and a squad that looks to improve on a daily basis, so we’ll start looking towards the Oldham game straight away.
“We had a really disappointing result there in the cup so we’ll be looking to go there and be a very different Carlisle side to the one that was disappointing that day.
“We’ve got a good squad, even with the injuries we’ve got which we’ve been unfortunate with. Lads have had to step into the team and everyone has done really well, and that comes from having a decent group.
“It’s going to be a tough period with a lot of games coming up, so squads will be tested. We’ll pick up little knocks and niggles along the way, because that’s football, but the whole squad is raring to go and pulling in the right direction.”
His goal, bagged with just four minutes on the clock at the weekend, set the tone for the rest of the game as United went on to eventually seal the victory.
“For my goal I just tried to put it in a good area, but I was waiting for Jon [Mellish] to come over and tell me whether he’d got a touch on it with that brillo pad head of his!” he confirmed. “It wouldn’t have surprised me if he had because everything he’s touching at the minute seems to go in, but he told me he didn’t get a touch and I was delighted.
“He has to get credit for his run, because if he hadn’t made that then the keeper would have just caught it easily. He didn’t get a touch, but he’s got to be applauded for the run he made.
“It’s good to be getting goals because I feel like I had a good pre-season, but we didn’t start the season well in terms of results. I had a bit of a hip problem which felt like it was going to hinder me for a while, but it seemed to disappear after a few weeks which myself and Ross [Goodwin] didn’t really understand.
“Since that issue has gone, I feel a lot sharper and it’s not there in my mind holding me back. I’m just looking to improve on a daily and weekly basis, and hopefully the results will come with that.”
Character is a word often used in football but it was evident in spades on Saturday, particularly in the way that heads didn’t drop after the game was pegged back to all-square.
“Even when they got it back to 2-2, it still felt like we were going to win the game,” he told us. “Usually when a team comes from 2-0 down they’re in the ascendancy, but we dealt with it really well.
“On another day we could have had three or four in the second half, but we were all delighted when Aaron [Hayden] nodded it in at the back stick.
“You do worry a little bit, which is just human nature, but I think that’s where our strong mentality comes into it. You know you’ve just got to keep going and keep doing the right things.
“When you get towards the end of games people start getting tired and that’s when spaces open up. Colchester are a good side, they came to win the game, they didn’t just want to sit and defend.
“They weren’t happy with the draw, they were still trying to win the game, and they’re a team who are up there every year. The good thing was that we did create a lot of chances, so you’ve just got to keep going and trying to get the goal to win the game.
“I think everyone was great. There could have been a number of players to get man of the match and Aaron Hayden was right up there for me. He does what he does every week so he sometimes gets forgotten about.
“His clearance at the end was as good as a goal and he did the same last week after the penalty. He reads the game well enough to see what’s happening and he’s athletic enough to get there, and his block really was as good as a goal. It was a game where everyone was class.”
“With the way the game went it was important for us to see it over the line,” he added. “You go from the high of being 2-0 up to coming back down to earth when you get pegged back to 2-2.
“When you’ve gone through that, getting the win feels even sweeter. We’re just happy to get another three points which keeps us at the right end of the table, long may it continue.
“We’ll go into the Oldham game full of confidence on the back of three league wins on the bounce. We know we’re a match for anyone in this league, and we’ll go to Oldham looking to put on a much improved performance from the last time we were there.”
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