Gills Manager delivers his thoughts following 2-1 win at Crabble
Gills Manager Martin Allen was pleased to see his side secure another away win during their pre-season campaign after defeating Dover 2-1 at the Crabble Ground.
Danny Jackman and Adam Birchall scored both goals in the first half, with Callum Willock getting one back for the hosts early in the second period.
The result means that the Gills are unbeaten during pre-season, and have just a few games now until the competitive action kicks off in two weeks’ time against Bristol City in the Capital One Trophy.
Martin said after the game: “It was a good Dover side – Nicky Forster has got a good group of players together and they posed some threats but for us to win 2-1 away from home with some of our younger players coming on in the second half was good.
“We have picked up a few knocks – we knew it was going to be a competitive game but the lads have done really well and picked up an away victory.
“It’s a great habit to keep winning games; of course there are always things to improve whether you win or lose. I thought we were average in the first half but we stepped it up in the second half and played some really good stuff.
“It was a test for the boys away from home to knock the ball around and play in that style so it takes a bit of getting used to but as the second half went on we stepped up the tempo and played with real quality.”
One of the things Martin Allen has tried to improve is getting the ball down and passing with real quality, and he was pleased with the tempo of play in the second half especially.
He said: “They all had a go; our passing wasn’t as good as what it can be in the first half. If you give the ball away then you lose the tempo and you lose belief.
“We want to shift the ball around the pitch – the players want to do it, I want to see it and so do the fans but we want to do it by being positive, creating chances and getting behind their back four.
“We certainly got that in the second half and it’s fair to say Alex Brown and Jack Evans came on with a positive attitude and they both lifted our team and that’s a great boost for all of us.
“In the first half we didn’t do that, we were too much around the halfway line and the centre circle, and with all due respect I could have probably played in there and done that so in the second half there was a lot more penetration, pace and power.”
However the boss is adamant that in time the players will get used to the style of play, and is happy now that many of the squad have played a full game.
He added: “You can see the commitment of the players, they are full on and very focused. In the stands all the professionals that were not playing were here to support the boys so everyone has nearly got 90 minutes under their belt.
“Jack Payne was always going to play 60 minutes tonight because he missed that week over in France – he looked a bit tired but that’s understandable because he’s been working hard behind the scenes.
“You have to be careful how much you work them because we don’t want to pick up these knocks.
“They can all play in a winning 11, there is no doubt about that. We will mix and match and see what we can come up with.”
The team did suffer a few injuries during the course of the evening but the manager doesn’t see any of them being serious enough to miss games.
He said: “Connor has got an ankle problem, so has Frampton. Charlie Allen and Lewis Montrose have both got dead legs but they will be fine. I would imagine both ankles with a bit of strapping and some ice should be fine too.”
Finally the manager spoke about the transfer market, and hinted a couple of deals could be completed by the end of the week.
He said: “Tom Flanagan is in – the Chairman and Andy have been working hard on it. They have been in negotiations all day. I’ve been waiting for things to happen but hopefully by the weekend one or two things do happen.
“If they don’t then we will persevere and continue happily with a lot of excitement, expectation and anticipation.”