Gilks’ homework helped penalty save

Matt Gilks after Saturday's win at Wigan
Matt Gilks after Saturday's win at Wigan
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Matt Gilks revealed some pre-match homework led to his pivotal penalty save at Wigan.

The Blackpool keeper made a brilliant one-handed stop from Martyn Waghorn’s 21st-minute spot-kick.

The 31-year-old explained: “We had a look at some of Wigan’s previous penalties in the hotel before the game.

“Generally you dive low, but on this occasion I managed to get my hand up and had a strong arm.

“I do look at players’ run-ups and things like that, and I managed to go the right way.

“The 20 players who travelled on Saturday all played a part and we were all over the moon. I was just playing my part with the penalty save.”

Pool scored twice in a game for the first time in almost five months – perfect timing on a weekend when the other bottom nine teams collected just one point between them.

And Gilks is under no illusions about the importance of the victory. He added: “It wasn’t just a win, it was a great win. We went to Wigan with a game plan – we were dogged and worked so hard.”

And Gilks paid tribute goalscoring strikers Andy Keogh and Stephen Dobbie. “They were two superb goals,” said the Scotland international.

“Andy’s was a superb header and the second was a well-worked cross and a good finish.

“Maybe that little bit of quality in the final third is what we’ve been lacking.

“We haven’t been creating enough chances, we know that.”

But it’s not just at the top end of the field that Pool are improving. Pool’s last three matches have been against top-six teams and it has taken two wonder-goals to beat Gilks.

“I think you’re seeing the results of the shape we’ve been working on,” he said.

“We’ve had a young lad (Harrison McGahey) in the back four for three games now and he’s been outstanding.

“He’s cemented a place in the team but it’s been a real group effort.”