No sulking as Pilkington looks to keep his Mansfield Town shirt at Cambridge

Stags 2012-2013''George Pilkington
Stags 2012-2013''George Pilkington

FORGOTTEN man George Pilkington is hoping he can keep his place at Cambridge this weekend after his shock recall to the Mansfield Town first team last Saturday.

And the former Luton Town defender said it had been important he didn’t sulk over his early-season axe from the side after they let in eight goals in the first two games with him as skipper in the heart of defence.

He said: “I have watched a lot of football recently and it was a surprise to start if I am totally honest. It was great to be out there.

“I had hope in training that I might be at least on the bench. But I found out at twenty to two on the day when I was told to get myself ready.

“I think I had a steady game. It would have been nice to get a win and their goal came from a defensive error. Otherwise I thought we looked pretty solid, though we need to do more offensively.”

While disappointed to be dropped down the pecking order, Pilkington remained philosophical.

“It is part and parcel of the game. You either sulk and feel sorry for yourself or you get on with it and I tried to do the latter. I kept fit and waited for my chance.

“I was out of favour. It happens in football. Other players have come in and had their chance and probably one or two of them are disappointed not to be playing now.

“I have been professional and got on with my job.

“We are blessed with a good squad here and you could put any of them (the defenders) into the back four and they would do a good job. We have been chopping and changing looking to get the right mix,” he said.

“This is the first time I have played with Ex (Exodus Geohaghon) and it was good. I felt good out there.”

Manager Paul Cox is still hoping he might be able to bolster his injury-hit squad with a loan signing before the trip, but he will at least have goal ace Matt Green back from a three-game suspension.

Cox admitted he was surprised the U’s have started badly, saying: “Cambridge were my dark horses to go and win the league this season.

“They have probably not had the best of starts. But they have a squad of very good players and have thrown a bit of resource at it.

“They did well last year but lost one or two influential players late on and probably drew too many games.

“This league does not take shape until January and I expect them be up there as they have too many good players and good management not to.”