Gills Manager ready for cup clash....Martin Allen admits that winning their FA Cup second round game provides his players with a huge incentive, but isn’t approaching the game any differently to what they have done so far this season.
The Gills travel to Preston on Saturday with a potentially rewarding third round tie on the cards should they get a result, but besides giving his players an extra day’s rest earlier in the week, their preparation has remained the same.
Speaking earlier in the week he said: “We don’t prepare training and say `Oh my god we have to win this because we will pick up a big draw against a Premier League team. ` We prepare our players the same as we do all the time.
“I’m not kneeling on the floor saying `come on you have to do this because we need the cash. ` We just do what we do all the time normally.
“It’s a big incentive for me and for all of us – the staff, the people behind the scenes at the club, the supporters and the squad. Can you imagine what a laugh we would have if we went to a Premier League club away from home? We would have fun wouldn’t we?
“What a buzz it creates but let’s put the fantasies and dreams away and let’s just concentrate on enjoying the game Saturday and helping our players play well.”
Martin and the players have had three days preparation for the game having had an extended break following the draw at Accrington.
He said: “I thought we had a hard working performance at Accrington, we played some good stuff in the first half – it was a bit backs to the wall in the second half and near the end with 10 men we nearly won it with a couple of opportunities we had.
“The players didn’t get back until late Saturday and I thought they had given absolutely everything they could possibly give in all of the games that we play so sometimes they do need to be rested.
“There is only so much training they can do so that helps with injury prevention. They came back in on Wednesday looking fresh, full of energy and all of them are raring to go.
“Results wise it hasn’t been great but the performances have been pretty good. We sit back and analyse, review and watch DVD’s and all that sort of stuff which we have always done.
“Even when we win we sit back to try and improve and that’s after we have won 4-0 and that won’t ever change. We played very well against Exeter in the first half but we were a bit too open in the second half.”
The manager revealed that Jack Payne will be in the first team squad for the trip having played well in the development match during the week, and also praised Danny Jackman for the way he has applied himself since being told earlier in the season he was being made available.
He said: “He [Payne] has trained hard; he has worked hard and has shown a good attitude. He played very, very well on Tuesday against Wimbledon and I have always said the door is never closed to anybody.
“He’s had to train hard, he has and he’s responded very well and the lad has got talent so we try and help him. He has done well himself, it’s a shame he got poorly (Payne having picked up a stomach bug earlier in the week) but I don’t just close the door and put them in a cupboard and treat him badly.
“Danny Jackman was made available between me and him in the office a couple of months ago and he has come back in to the team and done well so never say never. If you play well and we see a role for him then we will see how it all goes.
“I want them all to do well and I want them all to play well. I know I can’t keep them all happy but I do my very best.
“I don’t want to be a manager like that – if they all do the right thing then they will all get a chance.”
Martin revealed that he had tried to sign Preston striker Stuart Beavon during the summer but missed out, saying the gulf between the two sides can make a difference in a deal such as that one.
He added: “We tried to sign Beavon a few months ago – Mr. Chairman put in a big offer to get him to come here and be one of our players but we couldn’t match what they were offering and he signed for Preston, that’s the gulf.
“Mr. Chairman put in a big offer and a big contract offer but he chose to go up there and I suppose he gets more money by playing for them.
“When you go up the leagues and get bigger crowds, more sponsorship deals and more work done on the commercial side then that’s the name of the game and Beavon is a top goal scorer at this level.
“He scored 29 goals for a club last season who got relegated. I thought he would be a good signing for us but we couldn’t get him – they are the sort of players they have up there.
“I know Mr. Scally is coming back from Dubai to watch the game and potentially its mega income in to the football club and with January coming around of course it helps the bank account.
“Graham is right – if they play well they will win.”
Finally Martin commented on the development side and praised Mark Patterson and Darren Hare for the work they are doing with the younger players.
He said: “It’s nice to watch them play; we have worked very closely with Mark Patterson, Darren Hare, Schoy and James so they are trying to replicate what we are doing. There is a long term plan and preparation for their future in place, it’s all done.
“It’s great to watch them play and they are playing really well. I really enjoy watching them play – they are fit and work extremely hard and they have to come in to train on Sunday mornings in preparation for their Tuesday games.
“They are showing great dedication, Patto has done a great job in organising them and the young players are coming on really well.”