Gills midfielder says players spirit is strong...
Gills midfielder Charlie Allen says that the togetherness in the squad is higher than ever following last weekend’s 2-1 win over Rotherham at the New York Stadium.
Charlie played a full 90 minutes and said the team were delighted to claim all three points after having to defend for long periods.
He said: “It was nice to go and beat such a great team in a new stadium with great management and hopefully we can show our quality again against another big team with a big budget.
“Picking up six points over the two games would be great going in to Christmas and see us through nicely.
“Everyone came off bruised and battered and it was a proper game of football. It was nice to be involved in that and the togetherness is now even higher.
“There were no doubters in the squad, we wanted to go there and beat them and do what we do every week and hopefully we carry that on.”
Charlie was on the pitch when Romain Vincelot was knocked unconscious following a late tackle, and the midfielder summed up the character and unity of the team by saying every single one wanted to delay their trip back to Kent to ensure Romain was with them.
He said: “We were sat on the bus at Rotherham, an hour past Sheffield, it was late on Saturday night and John Schofield comes on and says `Rom is in Sheffield Hospital, we can go and see him and it will add two hours to our journey or we can go back to the south and get home while the Physio does his job. `
“Every player said `no way are we leaving him, let’s go to the hospital.` We got there in half an hour, waited around, he got on the bus, we all gave him a hug, shook his hand and told him we had won.
“No one could have been happier; it was a real coming together. That motto [arrive together, win together, leave together – which Charlie posted on Twitter following the game] felt right to say, I might get a few more followers!”
However for the amount of time Romain was on the pitch being treated and during the last 20 minutes of the match Charlie admitted it was difficult to focus completely as one of his team-mates was on his way to hospital.
He added: “It was horrible, he locked his jaw and his tongue sat on his airwaves so Gary ran on and saved his life. He pried open his jaw and all credit to the Rotherham Physio because he was there too and they opened his airwaves.
“His eyes were wide open; he was having a fit on the pitch and me, Charlie Lee and Jack Payne were in a five yard vicinity of it. He was shaking and it was horrible to see him go off in a neck brace but three hours later he was at the services with a bottle of water and a smile on his face so that was nice.
“We wanted to give him the three points that he deserved, it was an unfortunate challenge but it was in your mind. It was scary and it really got to me but you have to keep your head and be professional.
“It’s a physical game and that’s going to happen in football, people will get hurt and as long as it wasn’t a deliberate tackle then you have to forgive him. It could have been anybody.”
Charlie will be up against former Scotland Captain Barry Ferguson tomorrow, and the former Notts County player says he relishes the challenge and wants to stop his opponent from having an impact on the game.
He said: “I relish the challenge but I will use the physicality that I have got and if I can get the ball more than him then the technical ability and his experience and everything else that he has got in his locker can hopefully be neutralised.”
The Gills could walk out to a crowd above and beyond 8,000 tomorrow with the club’s festive ticket offer tempting fans to the ground, and Charlie says he is excited by that prospect and will enjoy witnessing the atmosphere.
He said: “It’s brilliant, the stadium is quite tight and the away fans are put on the top left shelf so you can’t really hear them. When we score a goal at the Rainham End you hear the roar of every single fan and that’s very special so I can’t wait to see what that’s going to be like when we score in front of 8,000 people.
“It will be something I remember through my Gillingham career.”
Finally Charlie commented on how he assesses his own performances up to this point.
He said: “There is always room for improvement. If I had got 20 goals by now I should have got 30. If I had got 50 assists I should have got 60. If I had started 10 I should have played 30 more.
“My philosophy is when you start to feel happy in your own performance that’s when you relax and start to make mistakes. That’s how I look at it, no matter how good or bad I play that is always the way I will see it.”