Gills Manager looking to build momentum
Gills boss Martin Allen believes now is the time to keep some continuity in the side as the first competitive action of the new season draws nearer.
Gillingham defeated Championship side Charlton 1-0 on Saturday courtesy of a Danny Kedwell header, and they will be in action again tomorrow evening when Gianfranco Zola’s Watford visit MEMS Priestfield.
For many it was the first time they had seen Martin Allen’s side in action, and he admitted he felt a little embarrassed when walking towards the dugout.
He said: “I always find it a bit embarrassing when you walk out and people clap me before the game – I always look at the floor and tried to be polite, I wasn’t being rude to anybody but for me it’s just another game of football.
“I suppose it’s going to happen but it was a lovely turn out, a good crowd and a good atmosphere. We saw good performances from all of our players including an 18-year old [Bradley Dack] who has come through the system having been released by Charlton at the age of 14.
“We also had a centre back who has come through with Callum Davies so that was good.”
The only goal of the game came from a Charlie Lee long throw – a set piece which has caused defences problems in the past, and the manager says it is important to utilise that strength.
He also stated he is unsure who his permanent team captain will be, despite Lee wearing the armband for the second time during pre-season.
He said: “It’s important at any level of football. Charlie has gone off to the Olympics and that’s why I took him off believe it or not. Charlie Lee has showed great commitment, I’ve really enjoyed working with him, he’s funny and the players really enjoy his company.
“He was captain aswell which was nice for him and we will see how that one pans out. I’ve told everybody that Andy Frampton will be our club captain – he’s great around the club, a good left footed centre half who is great at the training ground and when he’s fully fit he is an asset.”
Martin said it is unlikely he will change too many players for the visit of Watford as he tries to build up some level of consistency and style of play in the side, but hinted a couple might get a chance to prove themselves.
He said: “I might change a few of them but we need to get the momentum going now and keep it going. Different horses might have to run different courses here, we’ve got a hard cup game away from home but I think all of them can play in the team and they all know what they are doing.
“The youth team are playing like it, the development team are playing like it and so are the first team so the coaches behind the scenes have all taken it on board.”
The manager has called on all his squad to be together as one, and believes the only way his team will succeed is by sticking together and doing what is asked when called upon.
He said: “I don’t see a first team – I see a first team squad. We’re not talking about individuals, we are talking about a team and everyone will play their part but if you don’t play you will still be part of the squad and working within our group.
“That’s the only way we will be successful if everyone is committed to that.”