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INTERVIEW: Hard work brings the fruit

The second part of our interview with Tomas Holy

9 March 2023


INTERVIEW: Hard work brings the fruit

The second part of our interview with Tomas Holy

9 March 2023

In the second part of our interview with keeper Tomas Holy we spoke about clean sheets, the fans, and his excellent relationship with fellow stopper Mick Kelly, who is pushing him all the way.


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"I am delighted that we have 14 clean sheets but I still think it could be more,” he insisted. “But we are where we are, and 20 is the target now. 50 per cent of the games we’ve got left need to be clean sheets. 

“They’re so important, and I think it’s the same in every team and every sport. Ice hockey, for example. If you want to achieve something, you need a goalkeeper you can rely on.

“I’m not trying to sell myself, but clean sheets are always a very welcome thing. If we can get as many more as we can, it’s an important step.”

His latest was off the back of an excellent reaction save when the game against Grimsby was still locked at 0-0.

“Actually, that save boosted my confidence,” he told us. “I hadn’t made many tough saves, it means I’m glad even more that I made this one.

“It could have gone in, if he hit it wider or whatever, but he didn’t, I made the save, kept it 0-0, it gave us the opportunity to stay level, and we had great attacks, scored two goals. It gave me confidence that I finally made a tough save. 

“And it was a really good shot. The first thing I said in the changing room, I didn’t expect that kind of touch, and he hit the target. All I expected was the ball was going to bounce and taking it into the box. He made it kind of unexpected for all of us. I’m glad I reached that ball.” 

The weekend three points kept the Blues in the automatic promotion places, but Carlisle’s number one was quick to point out that there is still work to do.

“There is a saying that the last step is the hardest one,” he commented. “We’ve got 12 games to go, the next stop is Swindon, and we have to go game by game.

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“We’ve got eight weeks or so of hard work, we have to sacrifice, do whatever it takes. It’s Swindon next and the game is on!

“Those teams are coming against us, not us against them! I’m joking. But it’s so open, it’s still so tight. Leyton Orient are 8-10 points ahead but in other places it’s only a few points difference. The game is on. The 12-game season can begin!

“I’ve heard the gaffer say this, and he’s right, we have to embrace it. You don’t always get seasons like this, I’ve been there, with all respect, had a season with Gillingham which was the opposite end of the table.

“Last year here was probably the same. Now we are the complete opposite end of the table, and unless you are Manchester City, Barcelona, PSG, you are not there every season, every year. It’s another reason to enjoy.

“Don’t be greedy, don’t take it automatically. You still have to put lots of work into this job. It doesn’t come for free, absolutely not. But still, it’s important to enjoy. We had to work hard to get where we are now, but we are doing it with a smile on our faces. And we have a saying at home - the hard work brings the fruit.”

Helping with that hard work has been the fans.

“These fans are incredible,” he agreed. “I think we are where we are also because of them. None of the team would play their best without fans behind them. I enjoy it. It’s always good. They are one of the best sets of fans I’ve seen.


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“They’ve done their bit, we’re second now, and it speaks for itself. We’re there because of the hard work we put in but also with the fans at our back. Lots of the away games, I feel like we are at home.

“Our fans are just incredible. And at home it’s amazing. If something goes wrong, it happens – it’s life, it’s football – they don’t turn against us. They try to encourage us even more to turn it.

“Even Saturday, if we’d gone 1-0 down, I do believe they’d have pushed us further and we would have turned that game around.”

Also pushing him all the way is Mick Kelly, with the pair having forged a close relationship this term.

“I couldn’t wish for anybody better,” he confirmed. “I’ve been in situations with other goalkeepers, I understand they want to become first choice goalkeeper, there is always competition, but it wasn’t really like a friendly way.

“It didn’t just feel right. With Mick, he’s working really hard, and I believe it will be absolutely naïve to think differently. He wants to be number one. The situation is what it is, but he’s incredible – friend of mine, incredible to the boys.

“He’s great to Gabe, loads of times I see him talking to him, trying to give him advice, and he works absolutely hard in training.

“He’s acting as a friend to me, and to the guys. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to work. There is absolutely no guarantee for me, because he’s a very good quality goalkeeper. But we are on the same side, like friends and colleagues, that is priceless for me.”

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