Gareth’s ready to Jel at the heart of Pilgrims’ defence

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GARETH Jelleyman has backed Boston United to come good in the ‘exciting’ build up to the end of the season.

GARETH Jelleyman has backed Boston United to come good in the ‘exciting’ build up to the end of the season.

The Pilgrims defender says he is loving his third stint at York Street – and wants to mark his return with some silverware.

United have struggled to reach the high standards they showed at the start of the season, despite still grinding out results and remaining firmly in the relegation spots.

And now Jelleyman reckons it’s time for a surge up the Blue Square Bet North table.

“We can definitely get better,” he said.

“At the start of the season we were playing unbelievable football and set high standards. After the (weather-enforced) break we’ve not quite hit the peak again – but hopefully we’ll come good again.

“Teams can drop points all over the place and it’ll be an exciting end to the season – I’m looking forward to it.”

There is still all to play for in the title race, with any of the top five clubs in with a realistic shout of automatic promotion come the end of the season.

Alfreton - in second - may look favourites to lift the title having only lost once, at home to United, all season.

However, they still have to face a trip to York Street as well as facing leaders Nuneaton on the final day of the season and fellow rivals Guiseley twice.

Jelleyman made his Pilgrims debut aged 17, as a young winger on loan from Peterborough United in the 1998/99 season, making five starts and one appearance as a substitute.

He then returned for another loan stint in 2004.

On that occasion he turned out three times for the Pilgrims in League Two.

In the summer he was snapped up for a hat-trick of spells with the club.

And the 30-year-old, who has moved back into defence these days, couldn’t be happier to be back.

“I’m loving it, it’s the most I’ve enjoyed my football for many a year,” he added.

“Maybe that’s something to do with being in a half-successful team as I’ve had my fair share of relegation battles over the years.

“There’s a great bunch of lads here, the gaffers are brilliant and there’s a real buzz about the place.”

And Jelleyman has no qualms about becoming Boston’s makeshift centre back while teammates Lee Canoville, Kieran Murphy and Shaun Pearson recover from injury.

“I quite enjoy it there,” he added.

“I’ve played there quite a few times before, when I’ve had to fill in for injuries, so I sort of know what I’m doing.

“But it was a good few years ago when I last played there.

“It was when I was at Mansfield.

“It was for about 15 games towards the end of the season.

“We were missing a lot of players - I came in, did quite well and managed to keep my place.

“Maybe I’ll be doing it again, we’ll see who’s fit. But I’ll prepare in exactly the same way. The job’s not that much different to left-back.

“I used to be a lot more adventurous (as a left-back), but I’m more defensively-minded nowadays.”