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Interviews

INTERVIEW: We gave the fans a win they could celebrate

Jordan Gibson on a great finish and an important win

21 March 2022

United’s first goal of the afternoon at Holker Street on Saturday was an eighth of the season for Jordan Gibson, who admitted when he spoke to the press after the game that he felt it was something he owed the manager and team following what he described as a ‘poor personal performance’ against Newport.

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“Getting the win was massive,” he said. “To bounce back after Tuesday when we lost after having won four games, it was huge.

“And personally, Tuesday wasn’t my best game, and I knew I had to put that right. Everybody in the dressing room wanted to come back with a win and thankfully we’ve done that.

“I came in on Thursday and the gaffer spoke to me about how I’d played in midweek. He went through my clips with me, and it just didn’t look like me.

“I watched it back and I told him I wasn’t happy with my performance at all. I had to put it right and luckily he put faith in me to start again, and obviously I got the goal and we’ve won the game.”

“We fought hard and we battled well,” he continued. “I wasn’t happy with the start of the second half, we couldn’t get out of our half, but we dug in and we deserved it.

“That’s my first Cumbrian derby, my first experience of it, and the atmosphere was quality. The lads knew all the fans were coming down and they’ve got the win they can celebrate.”

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The quality of the goal was a highlight of the day, with the attacking midfielder first to pounce on a loose clearance in a very dangerous area.

“I won the second ball, which the gaffer told us was important before the game,” he revealed. “I got onto it, and I think Omari touched it, but I think I saw the goal light up.

“I just hit it first time, even though I heard Denno shout for it as well at the back post. I just thought no, I’m hitting it, and it was a good feeling when it went in.

“When you hit it early the keeper isn’t expecting it, and it’s one of those where if I did take a touch he’d have been able to set himself.

“By doing what I did it crept into the corner and it was good for us to get ahead before half-time.”

The start to the second period was a real test, as the wind made it difficult for the away team to break out of their final third.

“They kept slinging balls into the box and Chomp [Mark Howard] did very well with a few corners,” he commented. “I thought some of them were going in with the way they bent, and the wind made it difficult for us all. We defended well and we got the win.

“I’m so happy for Denno because he’s worked his socks off for us for so many games. He’s got a few assists and now he has his goal.

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“It’s never over but at 2-0 you think about seeing it out, and then they scored right away. It made it a nervy last 15 minutes but the game management from the lads was very good, and we saw it through.

“The feeling when that second one went in, I think Denno went into the crowd – I was looking for him because I just wanted to say well done, then I saw him in there and it was like, ah, there you are.

“It was great scenes and the rapport with the fans is very good at the moment. We’ve done well and the fans backing us has been very important with that.”

Having revealed that he had been very critical of his own display last Tuesday, he added: “I need to get rid of performances like that.

“I want consistency. I’m playing a different role in midfield now, and I want to score as many goals as possible. I’ve dropped back a little bit and it’s been difficult to try and chip in.

“I’ve had a few chances but all I want to do is work well for the team. That’s defensively as well, as much as anything, and that’s the ugly side of it.

“I do enjoy it, but Tuesday was an example when it wasn’t me. That’s why I wanted to be on the front-foot more in this game, and I think I did that.

“I didn’t feel right on the pitch against Newport, I gave the ball away too many times. The gaffer spoke to me about it and he’s given me another opportunity to put it right.

“The first couple of games I thought I did well, was full of energy, winning the ball, regains and stuff like that, but Tuesday it just wasn’t me. I looked at that and thought to myself I’ve got to be on it for Barrow and thankfully I was.”

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A tally of eight goals for the season is a decent return, particularly when the change of role is taken into consideration.

“I’m doing more in the middle of the pitch, there’s more to the game than goals from that position,” he explained. “It’s about winning tackles, interceptions for the team.

“I still want to score goals. I’m happy with the return but I’d like a few more before the end of the season. But as long as we’re winning games, I’m happy. 

“It’s something I’ve done before. When I was at Bradford I started the season in that kind of role, in a midfield three, in pre-season I did very well, and unfortunately I got injured when I thought I was goinfg to kick on that season.

“It’s not unfamiliar. It’s taken some time to get used to it again, I’ve not played there for a few years, but I’m more than comfortable in there. That’s what I enjoy.”

Back to the team, and safety is now within touching distance with still nine games to play.

“Until we get the points we need we’re not safe by any means,” he insisted. “But this was a massive win to put us 12 points clear.

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“It feels good knowing that you’ve created that gap to the bottom two and we’ve just got to try to win as many games as possible.

“We’re not safe until it’s mathematically done, so we just need to try and get as many wins as possible. Let’s try and win every game and see if we can climb the table. But as long as we’re safe, that’s the main thing. 

“The lads knew before the game how big it was, to create that gap, keep them down there and kick us on. We’re very happy with the result and it was a bit scrappy, we didn’t play as well as we could have, I thought we could have played a bit more, but the three points is massive. 

“We’re full of confidence, we haven’t let the Newport result affect us, and we’ve shown that the character is there. I’ve got to give credit to the gaffer because since he’s came in, he’s been so calm but passionate in what he wants from the players.

“He’s given everyone confidence, winning games breeds confidence, the gaffer’s been great with us, the players have stepped up to the plate when needed to get the results.

“The staff behind the scenes, Gav, Greg, Jake, media, they’ve been superb helping the lads. We’re all in it together and it’s going well.”

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Rewind just a few games and we took the opportunity to discuss a high-pressure situation when he was faced with a hugely important spot kick in front of close to 8,500 fans who were all desperate to see the net bulge so that the winning celebrations could begin.

“I remember before the Orient game, the gaffer’s first, he asked who was on penalties and I said I took the last one at Stevenage,” he commented. “Denno wanted to be on them, so I told him that if we got one and he was on the pitch he could take it.

“He was off the pitch for that one, so I was the first one to get to the ball. When there are 8,500 fans there and it’s silent, you know it’s going to go into turmoil if it goes in.

“You start to think about the celebrations and the scenes there’s going to be, so I had to try and compose myself. I was obviously confident in my ability to put the ball away and hold my nerve, so it was such a good feeling when it went in.

“A few of the Northampton lads behind me were saying – you’ve never done this before, this is your moment – so I took three deep breaths … then the ref walked to the other side of the box and I had to wait for that as well.

“I looked at him to ask if he was going to blow his whistle, but I knew where I was going to put it, so I waited for the keeper and I put it in.

“My mum was up for the game, and my nephew was there for his first time at a live match to see me, and he was so excited. It was a great feeling.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Jordan Gibson on iFollow United now.

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