Gills boss says there is room for improvement...
Martin Allen admitted he was disappointed with his side’s first half performance in the 1-0 defeat to Barnet, but was encouraged by the way they fought back after the interval.
Jake Hyde’s 20-yard effort midway through the first half proved to be the difference between the sides in a 1-0 win for the visitors at MEMS Priestfield on Boxing Day, and despite several chances to grab at least an equaliser, the Gills found themselves up against an in-form Graham Stack who produced many top class saves to deny the hosts.
Martin said after the game: “It certainly wasn’t the Boxing Day I expected or hoped for, it was a disappointing first half performance and I think we stepped up well in the second half but I have to ask myself and perhaps ask the players why we didn’t get going.
“We were a yard short all over the pitch; we didn’t zip the ball about like we can or how we like to do. One shot got punished and they do play some good football there is no doubt about it and its difficult when you are chasing a team when they get it down and pop it around like they do with the extra player in midfield.
“It’s our job to counter that and put our own mark on the game and we didn’t do that.
“The first half was frustrating because we all know we can play better than that. If you play really well and you don’t get any luck or any breaks and you don’t manage to win then I am fine but we are a better team than that.
“We play better football, we compete better and run faster than we did in the first half and that’s the disappointment.
“I think we have lost two in 13 or three in 14 so I suppose that’s pretty good and it’s only a couple of weeks ago we beat Rotherham so it’s not too bad. There is room for improvement without a shadow of a doubt, it doesn’t worry me but something obviously has to be looked at with the performance.”
Martin was asked if he understood the frustration of the fans at the full time whistle. He replied:
“They pay their money so they are entitled to their opinion and they have given some fantastic support so if you don’t play well that’s the business we are in. You have to take it on the chin, they pay their money and they want to be entertained.
“I think every supporter in the second half would say `that was more like it ` and what they want to see. We will all be leaving saying exactly the same as me – first half can do better, got to do better and want to do better and when you pay you can say what you like.
“We need to put the smiles back on those people’s faces – they have given us unbelievable support and they want to see us win.
“More than anything our football supporter’s want to see our team play with passion, desire and see them competing. Once you get those things in order they want to see our team pass the ball on the grass, zip it about and move it and that’s what they want to see and that’s what we have had in place for six months.”
Martin made a treble substitution on the hour mark to freshen things up, and he said he nearly enforced the change during the break but wanted the starting 11 to have the opportunity to get back in the game.
He said: “We were close to doing that at half time to spark some energy but I thought those players should get the chance to turn it around themselves and as a team we did do better right from the beginning.
“Those players when they came on did improve the team for sure.”