Gills boss delighted with performance at New York Stadium....
Martin Allen said his players produced a great response from last weekend’s defeat to Preston to overcome Rotherham 2-1 in Saturday’s league fixture at New York Stadium.
An impressive double from in-form Deon Burton was enough to seal all three points, although Jason Taylor’s reply set up a nail biting last half an hour where the visitors had to defend for long periods to clinch the points.
The only negative to come from the afternoon was the injury to midfielder Romain Vincelot who was stretchered off after a nasty collision inside the Gills box, and after a 10 minute treatment period, was taken to a nearby hospital where he was later released having received the all clear.
Martin was delighted with the win and said his side took their chances well.
Speaking after the game he said: “We took our chances when they came our way, we had a chance with Jack Payne just before half time which went over but everyone to a man in our squad played their part today.
“Rotherham are the in-form team in the division, they are very direct and they don’t play any football. They have some good players and they pay a lot of money up here and it’s a difficult game.
“Notts County had to face it last week in the FA Cup, they only drew here and they are in the play-offs in Division One so we were under no illusions as to how big the game was.
“On the counter attack we looked dangerous, from set pieces we looked dangerous and the Burton and Kedwell partnership proved to be decisive.”
It was Burton, formerly a Rotherham player, who got both goals with some clever play and Martin said the way he took his goals have come from meticulous practice.
He said: “Technical finishing I would call it, it wasn’t shooting – it was finishing off opportunities and he practices that, its not through luck and he’s practiced that for years since he was 19 at Portsmouth.
“I played with him there, we practiced and I used to work with him. Deon’s done that all of his career and when those chances come, if you do practice, it comes naturally to tuck them in the corners.
“Deon will get the credit but the goalkeeper has made one brilliant save and the subs that went on all did well. Dack, Weston and Montrose all did well and it was a good day for our club.
“It was just another game for us, we approached it in exactly the same way and all of our senior pros really stood up and the spine of our team was really strong.
“I thought we were a bit lacking last week at Preston and today was a fantastic response.”
Martin says his side haven’t been in bad form and the results just haven’t fallen in to place in recent games.
He said: “We haven’t been in bad form, the results perhaps haven’t been what we have hoped for but we haven’t played awful. The players have been doing alright but we lost Tom Flanagan, David Wright, Joe Martin, Charlie Allen and Charlie Lee.
“They are good players but they were missing at the same time – we don’t bleat about it at the time but there are some good players in that group so it was a terrific performance today.”
A few players were missing for the trip with Callum Davies, Ben Strevens and Chris Whelpdale all missing out, and Martin explained why they were not involved.
He said: “Callum Davies has been rested this weekend; I decided to give him a couple of days training with Patto [Mark Patterson] and for a 19-year old he has been absolutely fantastic.
“He has had to train quite hard, as all of our players do o Thursdays and Fridays, but it was just to give him a break. He’s only 19 and has had a couple of big games recently.
“Whelpdale has a sore groin so he didn’t train and wasn’t in our travelling party. Ben was here aswell but I can only have seven subs!
“What was on the bench is on the bench and what was not on the bench wasn’t on the bench. “
Finally Martin commented on the injury to Romain Vincelot and said it was uncomfortable watching from the dugout with the player going in and out of consciousness.
He said: “That moment was horrible but he is breathing properly.
“His eyes were open went I went down the touchline to see him, you can’t imagine what it’s like when you are the manager. You ask them to give everything but there is a limit and when you see one of the players not moving on the pitch and you are the manager it’s horrible and I didn’t like it.
“He didn’t acknowledge me when I spoke to him but it’s a huge relief and I must say a big thank you to the Rotherham supporters who clapped him off which I thought was pretty special, I think he’ll be OK.”