Gillespie rues game-changing miss

STEVEN Gillespie admitted he should have done better with his game-changing miss against MK Dons, but insists he isn’t feeling any extra pressure from the ‘fans’s favourite’ tag and an uncertain contract situation.

The Liverpudlian striker – whose name is chanted by the U’s fans whenever he is on the bench – was restored to the Colchester United starting line-up on Saturday following four substitute appearances.

And it was a mixed afternoon for the 25-year-old who coolly took a 29th minute opener before screwing a glorious chance from six yards out badly wide with the scores level at 1-1 in the second half.

“It’s things like that which change games, I’m aware of that,” said Gillespie, when recalling that missed opportunity.

“I just got a flick with my head (from a corner) and as I’ve turned round it’s come firing back at me – but I know I should have done better.”

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U’s boss John Ward warned supporters last week that Gillespie was ‘not the Messiah’ following their continual chanting of his name.

The �400,000 club record signing has now scored five goals in his last five home games, but his terrible injury record means it is still not certain whether he will get offered a new deal when his current contract runs out in the summer.

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“The gaffer has been brilliant with me, he’s known me for a long, long time and maybe he’s just trying to take the pressure off me,” said Gillespie, when told of his manager’s comments.

“I can understand why he’s doing that, both for me and the team, but no-one can put more pressure on myself to score goals and do well than myself.

“The fans singing my name makes me feel great, it certainly inspires me to do well and hopefully I can repay them.

“And the contract side of it is out of my hands until somebody puts it on the table.”

With Ward admitting his search for an experienced loan striker is proving difficult it is looking increasingly likely that Gillespie, fitness allowing, will be given a run in the team for the final 10 games.

“Hopefully the more games I get the more goals I can get,” said Gillespie, who only dropped out of the side in February due to a tight hamstring.

“If we keep creating chances like we have been then I’m confident that I’ll score goals and the other lads will score goals.

“I’m pleased to get the start and a goal today, but it doesn’t stop me being bitterly disappointed with the missed chances and the result.”

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