Gills Manager excited by prospect of large crowd...
Martin Allen says the management staff and the players are determined to give the fans something to cheer about as the festive season approaches.
Fleetwood Town visit MEMS Priestfield later today for the first ever meeting between the two sides and Martin cannot wait to see a near packed stadium for the club’s final home game before Christmas.
Speaking earlier in the week he said: “I believe Mr. Scally has put out some special offers for tickets where adults can come for a tenner and I think they have opened another stand for the game and think over 8,000 tickets for the game have been sold already.
“That’s pretty amazing, especially at this time of year with the expense of buying all of those Christmas presents and the extra bits and pieces you have to buy at Christmas.
“I can’t wait for five to three on Saturday afternoon because the place is going to be absolutely rocking when the players come out. It will be a fantastic occasion and we have to make sure we put on a performance, get the ball down and play some good football.
“We want to give our supporters something to cheer about going into Christmas and it will be a great afternoon.
“The supporters are the sales people really, if we do our stuff week in week out, we have taken a few knocks let’s not kid ourselves it hasn’t been perfect every week or every game but its never going to be, but I think the paying public respect that every player that puts the shirt on gives their best.”
Martin conceded that preparation has been affected slightly this week due to the weather, but says everybody worked hard towards the end of the week to ensure they were ready for the game.
He said: “I don’t prepare any different, Schoy took them training at the 3G pitch this morning because the training pitch was frozen so I went to a café, got a couple of papers and had a sausage sandwich.
“I suppose we have done things differently for this one but that has been forced on us really because of the weather.”
Finally Martin commented on the development of new signing Graham Humphreys who has been awarded a squad number for the remainder of the season.
The manager said an injury to the player has meant he will not be in the squad for today’s game.
He said: “He has shirt number 53, our new signing Graham Humphreys was in the squad for Saturday but unfortunately he twisted his ankle so he isn’t in the squad but he will be here on the pitch and I’m looking forward to our supporters giving our new signing a real Gills welcome.
“It’s a shame he has twisted his ankle or he might have gone straight in to the starting line-up.”
Martin was asked if he felt Graham resembled former Gills centre-back Guy Butters before saying how much he appreciates how much getting a squad number must be to a member of the public.
He replied: “In the mould yes, he looked like he was about 12 months pregnant so he has a bit of work to do in the gym but he could be a spare goalkeeper perhaps.
“I appreciate it, that first year when I finished playing professional football and I didn’t get a squad number I will never ever forget it. You have a squad number for the previous 17 years and all of a sudden there isn’t one because you’re not a footballer any more.
“The joy on Graham’s face when we presented him with his squad number, he’s had his picture done too and will be in the programme. He is down in the records now as a Gillingham player, I know what it means and I can understand it.
“It was my idea so well done to me for that one and we have a lot more coming up. People have won a lot of prizes and paid a lot of money for them , someone is on the bench for Boxing Day – an old boy who has been a supporter for 75 years so that will be amazing for the Barnet game.
“We have people travelling to away games on the bus so why can’t we, as a club, embrace them and bring them along? It won’t spoil or change what we do, and in actual fact, I think it will enhance it because as people we will get to know the supporters better and how much they love their club and what it is that we represent.”