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Interviews

Gilliead: Armband or not, I'll still lead

11 September 2020

Alex Gilliead has reflected on the past two matches, captaining the team and the start of the Sky Bet League Two season against Newport County this Saturday.

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With the first two matches being Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy games against Port Vale and Lincoln City respectively, Gilliead says it has been good getting back into the swing of things.

He told iFollow Iron: “There have been some tough games against some good squads. Port Vale will probably be up there like they were last year and obviously Lincoln, which is a team in the league above.

“But we feel like we have done well against them and created good chances, and we have taken a positive reflection from them.

“You can use them as warm-up games for the season, but we want to win every game we’re playing.”

Reflecting on the game against Port Vale, he continued: “We felt like we did well, and we could have probably nicked it, but lapses of concentration and errors cost us the game. But we took positives from both of them and we’re raring to go.”

Playing competitive games with no crowd is a strange feeling for the player, but it is something he feels he has to get on with and get used to even if it may be tough at times.

He said: “We can try and make the atmosphere ourselves, as players and as staff. We make the atmosphere within the group better and when we go out on the pitch we must make sure we’re fighting for every ball and ready to win games.”

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When asked how he felt about captaining the last two games, he said: “It’s something I’m very proud of. When I spoke to the gaffer about it and he said he was going to make me captain, it was something that I was proud of and honoured to do.

“I was thinking to myself, whether I have the armband or not, I’m still going to try and be a leader out there with the young squad we’ve got.”

Continuing on the young squad, Gilliead likes to give them the help and support they need, and continued: “I put myself across and give a bit of guidance to make sure they know what they’re doing within the team.

“I’m not someone who knows everything or pretends to, if someone has a way to help me and my game out, I’m going to take it on board.”

The first game of the Sky Bet League Two season is against Newport County on Saturday and, discussing the opposition, he said: “The last couple of times we have played them they have been a big squad in terms of height, and they battle for every ball.

“They put the ball in the box, and from set plays they are dangerous, so it’s something we need to be aware of.

“On the training pitch we’ve been looking at the past two games and what we need to improve on.”

With the competition for places coming to a close, Gilliead says everyone wants to be involved. He said: “You can only help each other and push each other on. Knowing someone is trying to get your shirt off you, you’ve got to keep it and its healthy competition to have.”

See much more from Alex Gilliead on iFollow Iron. Not a 12th Man member? Get your Iron v Newport County iFollow match pass here.


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