Gills skipper wants positive result...
Gills skipper Adam Barrett says the squad should be focusing on the positives that have given them top spot in npower League Two as they approach Saturday’s game against Rotherham.
By his own admission Barrett concedes, by the club’s high standards, that the Gills are suffering a slight blip, but says the weekend’s fixture presents a golden opportunity to grab three important points and extend the gap between 1st and 4th.
Speaking in his midweek press conference he said: “We are really looking forward to it, it’s a massive game. It’s a tough place to go with the new stadium, they are getting good crowds there and I know a couple of their players so it should be a good battle.
“We have been in a bit of a blip and hopefully we can go there, get some points and create a bit of a gap again.
“We need to make sure we stick together as we have done as a team, go back to basics a little bit and we have the quality to come through and pick up again.
“We have to concentrate on we do and the gaffer is good at putting us together to try and win football matches. We will put all of that to one side and be competitive, we are top of the league and we want to stay there.
“It will be a difficult game there is no two ways about it.”
Barrett says it is a nice feeling being at the top of the table and says the squad are determined to keep it that way as the busy Christmas period approaches.
He said: “We have been top for a while and when you are there people approach the game differently against you. They set up differently and you are there to be shot at.
“We have had a fantastic start to the season but we have to keep that going. We have an important Christmas period and this game will not determine if you go up or down, there is a long way to go and a lot of points to play for but it’s a big game.
“It’s enjoyable being there – we might be the target who everyone wants to beat but we will go there full of confidence and give it a right go and with the ability we’ve got and the work ethic than the manager has instilled there is no doubt we can go there and get a positive result.
“We have some young lads here who haven’t got a lot of experience and it’s the likes of myself and Deon Burton and other senior pros to try and help them. We have had a bit of a blip by our own standards in the last three weeks, but you will have that as it’s a long season.
“You’re not going to be on top form week in, week out but we need to make sure we get back to what we are good at and this is a fantastic game to go and do that. Hopefully we approach it right and I’m sure we have the qualities to come through in the end.
“It’s not like we have been getting beat every week. We are still top of the table and we still have the best defensive record in the league so there is still lots to be positive for.”
Barrett took time out to praise Callum Davies who has had a fantastic start to the season and the Captain thinks he will only get better with a continued run of games.
He said: “He’s a fantastic talent, we have a few here and he isn’t the only one. Playing alongside Callum he’s a really nice lad, he wants to learn, his work ethic is very good, he’s very professional and I’m sure he has a bright future ahead of him.
“This will do him the world of good with the experience, when you play 10, 15, 20 games on the bounce you have to find that consistency and he will do. He’s a young lad and this is his first proper season, he has a tremendous future ahead of him and if he continues to work as he has done and apply himself the way he has then I’m sure we will see big things from Callum.”
Davies was unlucky to slip at a crucial time before the second Preston goal was scored last week, but Barrett says he is bound to make mistakes at his age and it’s up to the rest of the players to get behind their team-mate when something goes wrong.
He said: “I went straight up to him when it happened and said `don’t worry, I’ve been making mistakes up and down the country for years,` that’s part of football, it’s a good learning curve for him and you don’t want to make too much of it.
“Nowadays you make a mistake and people are criticising you but he’s a young lad who is learning his trade and he’s going out there and trying his hardest. He’s been outstanding for us; he will make a couple of mistakes along the way, as we all do, but I’ve ha d along chat with him and mentally he will be stronger for it.
“He was devastated when it happened, of course he was but that’s when we have to rally around him and help him out but he will come back stronger than ever from this and learn from the mistakes.”