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2 August 2012

Gills striker determined to prove his worth

Adam Birchall says he is delighted to have got 90 minutes under his belt, and is looking forward to the new season after spending an entire year on the sidelines.

Birchall picked up a serious knee injury this time last 12 months ago in a pre-season game, but says he is more determined than ever and will be looking to maintain a strong consistency throughout the campaign.

The centre forward scored against former club Dover on Tuesday evening in a 2-1 win and said after the game:

“It was funny because it was my first 90 minutes aswell so it was a double occasion really. It felt weird going into the away dressing room and then once I was out on the pitch I just switched off and played my game.

“I’m delighted to get 90 minutes under my belt. I wasn’t sure what type of reception I would get but Dover has a place in my heart and that’s why, the fans give me a great reception.

“It’s a landmark in my own mind now knowing that I’ve done that and I got on the score sheet aswell which is really important for me.

“You want to be building up into the season and it’s all about consistency and hunger. It’s nice I’ve still got that even though I’ve been out for a year and I’m hungrier than ever really.

“There’s competition for places, everyone is playing for the shirt and the management staff are really pushing us. You can’t let your standards slip with these guys and they are quick to tell you so you have to work your hardest for the shirt which is great.

“At the moment it’s just getting minutes under my belt and trying to impress the gaffer I’m not going to lie I was getting tired towards the end. I ended up in midfield at one point which I was a bit grateful for as I could just keep the ball.”

Next up for the Gills is a home game against Charlton this coming Saturday, and Birchall admits the new season has approached much quicker than expected.

He said: “They [Charlton] are leagues above us now so it will differ slightly from the teams we have played so far and it will be a test.

“It always does sneak up on you but we are heading in the right direction – we are working hard on the training ground, the gaffer is getting his ideas across now and we are playing the way he wants us to play so in two weeks’ time we will be raring to go.”

The striker concedes in the past he may not have had full faith in his ability, but now he is backing himself to score goals although he wouldn’t let on his targets for the coming season.

He said: “To be a professional footballer you need to back yourself all the way – I didn’t do that at Arsenal when I was there and got to the first team so when you play you have to think you are good enough to play, worry about yourself and do your best for the team and the gaffer will take care of the rest.

“There are always my own targets, I keep those to myself and I’ll let you know at the end of the season!”

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