Home   Medway   Sport   Article

The Shouting Men: Gillingham striker Mikael Mandron is hoping for a bit of the FA Cup form he once showed at Eastleigh

The FA Cup has always been a competition I have enjoyed playing in.

I have scored plenty of goals in it for my former teams, Eastleigh and Hartlepool, and hopefully I will be able to score again at the weekend, if I play.

Mikael Mandron would love to add to his FA Cup goal tally this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry
Mikael Mandron would love to add to his FA Cup goal tally this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry

I remember at Eastleigh I scored in four consecutive cup games against Swindon and Halifax. I was in good form at the time and I really enjoyed it.

We just want to get through this game against Doncaster now, regardless of how it goes. Even if it goes to extra-time or if we need a replay, whatever.

I am fully fit, I am feeling good and I am ready.

We were so unlucky last weekend against AFC Wimbledon, we were on top the whole game and so dominant.

Mikael Mandron is challenged by Peterborough's Dan Butler Picture: Ady Kerry
Mikael Mandron is challenged by Peterborough's Dan Butler Picture: Ady Kerry

We were creating chances, we were solid at the back, we were on top and playing good football and just unlucky not to score. That’s football. On a different day we would have won by three or four.

We have to take the positives from it, learn from the negatives and get ready for the next game and put it right.

Afterwards it is always the same. When you don’t score at the weekend you end up going on the training ground and scoring every chance.

The most important thing is to keep getting into those positions and the goals will come, I have no doubt.

I recently managed to score the winner against Lincoln and I felt really good in that game, I felt like I was closer to what I can do on the pitch. I felt good physically and technically. I felt sharp and things went for me.

If I can stay consistent and put in similar performances then I will be getting more goals.

Mikael Mandron scored the winner in the recent game against Lincoln City Picture: Ady Kerry
Mikael Mandron scored the winner in the recent game against Lincoln City Picture: Ady Kerry

I didn’t know much about the FA Cup, growing up in France. I am not very football savvy, my football knowledge is not the best!

I know about the big teams but I knew more about the FA Cup once I came here and I could see how huge it is. The whole country is really excited for the cup. Small teams get a chance to beat the bigger teams and we did that at Eastleigh.

There are always a few underdogs that manage to make it through and that is why this cup is so special.

The gaffer mentioned in the press how he tried to sign me for Peterborough when he was manager there but for whatever reason it didn’t happen.

I think sometimes with football, or life, it is just about timing and when the timing is right, everything falls into place.

I came here on trial in the summer. I got to see what the boys are like here, it felt good, it felt right.

When you go on trial you have to go there believing you are as good, if not better, than the other players in the team. You have to be confident the staff see something in you and sign you.

Mikael Mandron up against his former team Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry
Mikael Mandron up against his former team Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry

My opportunity has come and hopefully now I can stay in the team.

We’re so close to the Eurotunnel here and if I have a chance I am always going to go home to Paris. I don’t get to go home very often, so when I can I do try and go.

It was good to have gone back after scoring the winner against Lincoln. My whole family were there and we had a meal together. It was great to be around my family.

Unfortunately I got ill on the Monday night and it was like a 24-hour bug. I had been feeling good and confident and it was a big game against Sunderland to go and get through in the FA Cup. I was disappointed that I was unable to help the boys but they got through. We got the win and hopefully I’ll be playing on Sunday.

We’ve got Sunderland coming up again and I really enjoyed going back to my former club to play in the first round match.

I got to see some of my old team-mates and some of the staff I worked with at the time.

I played with Duncan Watmore and Lynden Gooch as well, we were in the same youth team, we played together, but apart from a couple out on loan I think those are the only two left.

Being around the town and the north east it is an area of the country I really love. The stadium, even though it wasn’t full, was still a great atmosphere. We managed to put on a very good performance and I was happy.

But whoever the opposition is, I am always excited to play. I have got this connection to Sunderland, I always look forward to that game, but I will deal with it when it comes. The FA Cup is first and that’s what I’m focused on.


More by this author


This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More