By Ge­orge, the early signs are promis­ing

But Pilk­ing­ton re­mains cau­tiously op­ti­mistic about gru­elling sea­son ahead

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS - MIKE GLENDIN­NING

SATUR­DAY’S win over Brain­tree was as wel­come in the club as it was un­ex­pected by those out­side the Moss Rose.

And the foun­da­tion of that was a hastily put­to­gether cen­tre-back part­ner­ship that won just about ev­ery ball, whether they came high or low.

But one half of that part­ner­ship, Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton, says that while he was pleased with how it panned out the suc­cess was due to a com­plete team ef­fort.

“To come away from what was a very tough game with a clean sheet and three points was a great re­sult for us,” said the de­fender, who first came to Macc on loan from Mans­field last term.

“We know that if we’re to achieve any­thing we’ll have to work that hard in ev­ery game, a lot will be won or lost in fine lines.

“I think we had ex­cel­lent pro­tec­tion in front of us, every­one worked in­cred­i­bly hard and there was good cover in front of the back four.

“Paul Lewis def­i­nitely did well, he was out­stand­ing, I’m sur­prised at some of the com­ments he gets. He’s a good size, he’s full of en­ergy and he puts him­self about to good ef­fect. When he does so much good de­fen­sive work it en­ables the back four to get out in a good shape and nul­lify the op­po­si­tion. And Danny (Whi­taker) and Paul (Turn­bull) along­side him were ex­cel­lent too.”

Pilk­ing­ton was one of the first play­ers to re­turn this summer, and there’s no ev­i­dence that it’s a de­ci­sion he re­grets – he’s back in the thick of the ac­tion af­ter long spells of in­ac­tiv­ity and he’s ex­cited about the Silk­men’s man­age­ment duo.

“The man­ner in which we beat Brain­tree is what’s most pleas­ing for me, but we still know there’s more to come from us, es­pe­cially when we’ve got the ball,” he added.

“There were def­i­nitely a few nerves on show on Satur­day but it was good to get go­ing, you can get sick of pre-sea­son and when the sea­son starts it’s dif­fer­ent, more in­tense. The early signs are promis­ing.

“I was keen to come back, with­out a doubt, I saw enough in John and Efe to con­vince me to re­turn, I hold them in high re­gard.

“The ethos in the squad is good and there’s a real be­lief in those two.

“There were a lot of prob­lems to­wards the end of last sea­son and the con­straints are dif­fi­cult but there were a lot of tri­al­ists com­ing in this summer and they’ve done well.”

And as for his own prospects, the for­mer Lu­ton and Mans­field man in­sists he’s ready to go toe-to-toe with the bruis­ing op­po­nents he ex­pects most Con­fer­ence sides to throw at him.

“I’ve found it tough not play­ing, I’ve missed a lot of foot­ball which is hard so I just wanted to get in and get play­ing again. I’m 32 and I just want to get as many games in as I can.

“Mans­field was a tough time, I’m not look­ing back with any re­grets, it just didn’t work out for me.

“I didn’t seem to fit in with the style of foot­ball they wanted to play. At Macc it’s more con­ducive to me as a player.

“You want con­sis­tency as a de­fender, I think that’s one of my big­gest strengths. I en­joy the com­pet­i­tive side of the game, it’s a great feel­ing when you’ve been pit­ting your­self against an op­po­nent and come out on top, the best feel­ing is win­ning games.

“You know that most weeks you’ll be up against big, bruis­ing for­wards. But I want to put good per­for­mances in and prove to peo­ple, in­clud­ing my­self, that I can still do it, that I have the abil­ity.

“John has shown be­lief in me and I want to prove that he was right to sign me, and I want to en­joy it, if you’re en­joy­ing your work then that’s a good foun­da­tion and you prob­a­bly won’t go far wrong.”

Matt Rat­cliffe

Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton (left) and Luke Waterfall’s fledg­ling part­ner­ship ex­celled in the cen­tre of de­fence

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