Gillespie confident the goals will come

COLCHESTER United striker Steven Gillespie has told his manager 'keep faith with me and the goals will follow'.

Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United striker Steven Gillespie has told his manager 'keep faith with me and the goals will follow'.

The affable Liverpudlian made only his seventh start of the season in last Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Bristol Rovers and produced a lively display full of running.

And while he admits that a few of his first half misses have weighed heavily on his mind, the pacey front man is confident he can get back to goalscoring ways soon.

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“I'm the first to admit I should have got a few more goals recently,” said the 24-year-old, whose last goal came against Southampton at the end of December.

“I am critical of myself and always have been, but I've seen much better players than me miss easier chances than I did on Saturday.

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“Yes, I missed one or two chances, but it won't affect me. I'll make sure I keep looking for that next chance and I'm pretty confident that if one goes in then more will follow.”

Gillespie - Colchester's club record signing at �400,000 - added: “Goalscoring statistics are funny things.

“They can work against you when people say 'he hasn't scored in so many games' or they can work in your favour when people say 'he's got three in five' or whatever.

“The important one to me though is the goals per starts stat; and my goal per game ratio has always been pretty good throughout my career.”

Gillespie has made 17 substitute for Colchester this season, the average time of his arrival off the bench being the 74th minute. His combined substitute minutes add up to just two and half full matches.

“It can be difficult coming off the bench,” admitted Colchester's very own 'Stevie G', whose two goals this season have both come in games he's started.

“At Yeovil recently people might say 'he had more than half an hour to score' but I had to play a different sort of role because of the circumstances.

“We were 1-0 up, they're looking to equalise and I'm having to run the ball into corners. It was the same against Southend. In those scenarios you always have to put yourself second to the team.

“I'm not saying you're not looking to score when you come on, but getting the win is more important.”

He added: “I don't want it to sound like I'm making excuses. I know I'm going to be judged on my goals, especially as I'm not a Platty (Clive) type target man. And I also know that if I'm not scoring I don't deserve to be in the team.

“I'm big enough to deal with it; I just hope I can get a few more starts and that the goals will come.”

Colchester manager Aidy Boothroyd took Gillespie off after 71 minutes on Saturday and his replacement, Kayode Odejayi, went on to score his third goal in five games.

The U's boss backed his mis-firing striker after the game though with some words which will give him hope of starting a third game in succession for only the second time this season when the Essex side host Brighton next Monday.

“He's a terrific player, we all know that,” said Boothroyd.

“When he gets one (goal) I'm sure he'll go on and get 10 more. He gave them (Bristol Rovers) a lot of problems, but it just wasn't to be for him.”

Gillespie added: “Obviously I appreciate the manager's words and I think what he says is true.

“He said something similar after the Southampton game though and for whatever reason I didn't get a few starts or goals after that.

“I'm definitely eager to start the next game. The fans have always been very good to me and I really want to repay them with a few goals.”

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