Former Manchester United goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington gives his thoughts on the title run-in. Kevin was part of the United masters team that retained their legends trophy in Barbados earlier in the week.
When we last talked, United were in the middle of great form and on the way to opening up an eight point lead at the table. So, what went wrong?
I was very surprised to see us lose an 8 point lead as I’m sure every one was. We are usually so good at closing the league out. The Everton game was a massive turning point. At 4-2 it was over but it wasn’t to be.
What a crazy last day – the only consolation is that City’s “Bayern Munich moment” didn’t happen directly to us, but it didn’t seem to help – have you ever seen anything like that?
No. I was sat at the dinner table having just put a shed up when I looked at the results (I couldn’t bear to watch it) and when I looked on my phone We had won and City were drawing. This was at 4.55 and I celebrated to early!
It feels a bit strange to be congratulating a team for winning the team, or “being the better team”, when we finished on the same points.. what do you think we need to do to improve on for next year?
At the end of the season the table doesn’t lie and as hard as it is you have to say well done… Get one more point and 7 more goals!
Who was your player of the year for United?
Phil Jones had a fantastic start to the season but injuries knocked him back. For me, Scholesy – to come back and perform as he did was unreal!
And what was your favourite game of the season?
The Arsenal game must be the highlight for most United fans surely?
It’s been 20 years since you were in that famous FA Youth Cup winning side, the club have been doing some spots to put on MUTV – is it difficult to believe it was that long ago? Especially when you see Giggs still playing in these hugely important games?
Yeah it’s great to have been a part of it again is fantastic and to still see Giggsy playing at the very top shows just what a special player he is.
You have moved on to coaching at Notts County – and suffered a similar fate to United, losing out on a playoff place on only goal difference. You had a good run in but suffered three home defeats that proved to be costly; do you look back on the start of your (second) time there disappointed or encouraged?
I think we have got to be encouraged really. When the Gaffa took over we were 8 points behind Stevenage and they had 2 games in hand over us. So to lose out on goal difference is a fantastic effort by every one involved at the club.
How’s it going for you personally? Obviously since you started the game has changed remarkably, the pass back rule changed everything for goalkeepers.. How are you finding life as a coach? And would you prefer to coach now or back in the day when passes back were permitted?
It’s going well although I really miss playing. No, I’d prefer to coach now… you’ve got to adapt with the times and now a goalkeeper has to be very good with his feet. It’s a massive part of a keepers’ game.
Your predictions for United and County next season?
Win the title for United… Play offs at least for Notts.
Thanks to Kevin for his time and contributions for 7Cantonas in the 11/12 season. (Credit to Bree for the picture, taken at the Masters – follow her on twitter.)