Gills Manager fond of playing over festive period...
Martin Allen revealed during his midweek press conference that the players decided whether they should train on Christmas Day or not.
The manager admitted he was in two minds, but then offered his squad the chance to decide as many of them have small children.
He said: I wasn’t sure what to do, if you’re not sure about making decisions then ask. I did a little bit of research and found out how many of them have young children and I thought it would be better to give the players ownership of the decision.
“It’s easy for me, I can come in any day – I’m not bothered really. The players said we’ll be fine, they will train Christmas Eve and play Secret Santa over breakfast where we have some croissants coming in because of the French guy, Romain Vincelot.
“We’ll do a bit of training and then wish everybody a Happy Christmas and I know for a fact that happy players play well so that’s what we’ll be doing.
“We’ll come in for the Barnet game on Boxing Day – there’s a couple of players who have nowhere to go on Christmas Day and one of the rules is that they are not allowed to travel very far so they are going to other players houses which is the right thing to do, rather than be like Mr. Bean.”
Martin then commented on the argument of a `winter break` in the domestic calendar. He says playing at Christmas time is a tradition, and less work should perhaps be done in the summer to keep players fresh.
He said: “People talk about a winter break but if they really want one then perhaps they should re-consider their two week trips to Japan, Australia and America to promote their football clubs.
“It’s part of our English tradition – I love Christmas football, I don’t think anyone is complaining about training in the wet and mud. The supporters love it so I don’t buy all of that.”
Considering some members of his squad are close to being given a one-game ban due to the amount of yellow cards received, Martin was asked if this will impact his team selection.
He replied: “Not at all, no. Every game we approach and dealt with from day one is to pick, what we thought, would be a good team to play the game and we prepare the same way every week and I haven’t gone in to it thinking `he has a yellow so he won’t play.`
“It doesn’t create a selection problem because I have four others I can put in the team so that’s not a problem. All of them have played in winning teams, the stats and facts are right in front of me on my desk on my computer so I can see all if the combinations right in front of me.”