Gills Manager praises behind the scenes effort
Gills Manager Martin Allen is delighted that all members of his squad have been part of winning teams so far this season.
Gillingham have won all three of their competitive games so far with victories over Bristol City, Bradford and Wycombe, and having made a number of changes in both matches he is pleased that every player has experienced a win.
Speaking in build up to the Dagenham game on Saturday he said:
“It’s certainly been an enjoyable time after all of the work we have put in which has been well documented and spoken about a lot.
“It’s been a good start and long may it continue.
“We made five changes at Wycombe and that should tell everyone the confidence I have in them. They have all played in winning teams now so they can all do it.
“This is what we all set out to do at the start of pre-season and I said to them I wanted them all to cement a place in the squad. The Chairman and Andy [Hessenthaler] have got the players in and we have a decent group.
“We have stressed to everybody that when you are not picked it takes more of a man to go up to the person who is taking your place to wish him luck and hope he does well without being moody or sulking.
“Hopefully between us we can be positive and step forward.”
Martin says the results the team have had is testament to the amount of work the players and management have put in.
He said: “We have put a lot of work in and it isn’t through luck. We have a swimming pool next to the dressing room and we have ice baths that they have to go in every day. They have to come in at half past nine to do these exercises so they don’t get injured.
“It’s through hard work, dedication and I’m proud of the players and staff behind the scenes who have committed to a programme to not pick up injuries.
“Before we left Wycombe everyone had to warm down, eat, and go in the ice baths before we left. Everything has been done immediately – even the lighting and music on the way back on the bus.
“When I met the players at the beginning they said they wanted to be treated professionally, honestly and with respect so if we give them all that then they can do their bit.
“It’s a two way thing and if we want their respect then we need to work together and as a team. We are all pretty close, my office is upstairs but overall it’s a good solid group and a nice place to work.”
The manager believes the players will get better as the weeks progress, and is using DVD’s of matches to help the squad learn from their mistakes.
He said: “We watch the DVD, John Schofield watches it too – we put our opinions together.
“We keep striving to get better every day – the work is on-going and continuous. Every player left with his own DVD from the game at Wycombe so hopefully they have watched it themselves and trying to learn.
“It’s a learning culture to make us better long term.
“We don’t force it down their throat, it’s not the only way but it enhances their performance.”
Dagenham and Redbridge will provide the opposition on Saturday, and Martin paid tribute to John Still who has been in charge of the Daggers, during his second stint at the club, since 2004.
He said: “John Still is a brilliant manager, he’s got a great knack of finding young players and they are always tough to beat, it’s a difficult place to go and play.
“He’s done a brilliant job to take them from the Conference to Division One. They were unlucky to get relegated but he just keeps rebuilding and putting squads together.
“The board and fans deserve a lot of credit too because they are always patient, they support their manager and let him get on and manage the club which is the way forward.
“He’s a good guy and I speak to him regularly – he tells it how it is and stalks straight. He has his way of playing and it something for us to go up against.”