GARY Lineker and the BBC have lost a viewer – Matt Gilks is still so gutted by Premier League relegation he can’t bring himself to watch Match of the Day.
The keeper’s frustration at exiting the top flight was more keenly felt than most. He missed the majority of the campaign with a knee injury and could only watch from the sidelines as the Seasiders slipped into the drop zone.
Gilks said: “As soon as you fall out of the top flight you seem to be forgotten about as a team.
“When we were up there everyone was talking about us and it was great.
“When you haven’t got that any more it is difficult, and that is one of the things we’ve had to deal with since we came down.
“We can probably put the start of the season down to that, and that’s why results were mixed.
“I’ve not been able to watch Match of the Day and I don’t like watching the Championship because it isn’t the same. We are still regrouping and we just have to keep on believing we’ll be there come the end of the season.”
The chances of that look much better after the last three games yielded seven points.
Gilks added: “It is a very happy dressing room at the moment and we’ve recovered from the blip we had. “I think it came to the point after that Burnley defeat where everyone wanted to grab someone by the throat and give them a good shake.
“The manager pulled us in and said, ‘What’s going on?’ Nobody could put their finger on it, so it was just a case of rolling our sleeves up and getting on with it. I think that’s the mentality we’ve got in the dressing room and it is paying off.
“People have to remember that this is a new team. Different personnel have come in and we’ve changed the way we play a bit.
“As the players from last year have left, we have had to alter it. So we are still gelling and getting to know each other.
“We’ve got a bigger squad than ever. There is plenty of competition for places, so everyone has to be on their game.”
Gilks added: “I think the result last Saturday sent out a little message because Middlesbrough are a good team. They were pressing from the first minute.
“We are trying to get the ball down and play, like we did against Leeds, but they had obviously watched that because they got amongst us.
“We possibly panicked at times but to come back twice and get a draw showed tremendous character.”