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MARTIN: "WE MUST MAINTAIN BELIEF"

7 December 2012

Gills Manager says preparation is vital for Saturday's game...

Gills boss Martin Allen says the management and players are approaching tomorrow’s game against Rotherham the same as any other.

The game will see top of the league Gillingham play fourth placed Rotherham who have been in good form recently under Steve Evans and are looking to push for an automation promotion position.

Although the Gills haven’t won in their last three games Martin says the squad are preparing in identical fashion as they have done for every game this season and are looking to get back to winning ways.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference he said:

“The boys trained hard on Tuesday, they had a day off Wednesday, we have a couple of knocks which required a couple of fitness tests but hopefully we will have a full squad ready for the weekend.

“We are a few players short at the moment, one through long term injury with Tom Flanagan, David Wright has gone back to Crystal Palace so we are short in a couple of areas but we are doing alright.

“We have got a couple of doubts but I will keep that under our hat. We have a couple of young lads travelling with us – a first time in the squad for Devante McKain, he’s travelling with us and a young striker called Nathan Nyafli so those boys have been added.

“Devante played against Watford the other night and was superb. He’s strong, big, quick, powerful and is a good player.

“Nathan’s been playing in the reserves for the last few weeks – he is fast, powerful and deserves his chance.

“You have to say it would be, for supporters, it’s that magical `six pointer`, but to us it’s just another game and we’ll go out there and do what we have been doing all season from day one in July.”

Martin says his players haven’t paid much attention to the league table as they are focussed on taking each game as it comes.

He said: “I don’t really look too far ahead, I take each match game by game and the players played very well against Preston in the FA Cup. We didn’t get the result that we wanted but overall they have been playing very well and have been unlucky in a couple of games.

“You have to maintain your belief, keep working on what you have been doing and practicing the things that have helped us win points earlier in the season.

“We need to keep players fit, keep them working together as a team – it’s a good squad of players that we have got and we don’t look at the league table too much to be honest.

“We just keep practicing and keep working on what we are good at and keep moving forward.

“We don’t try and have these big peaks which can often follow with these troughs, we just prepare our players the same way every week and we are not going to do anything special or beg them to jump higher, run faster and pass better.

“Just go out and play, do your stuff and as a team we have done very well.”

Martin was asked about opposite number Steve Evans who left Crawley Town last season to take over at Rotherham, and the Gills boss says he is somebody he respects.

He said: “I’ve had lots of nice cups of teas with him and he’s always out watching players. He’s a nice guy, we have a nice chat like normal people but in the technical area he has his own ways of doing things. It might be a bit different to most people but he wants to win, he’s a winner and he has been successful all through his career.

“Everyone is different and who am I to sit here and judge people?

“They are a good team with a good manager with good players and a great stadium. We have a very good away record and I think we have made history with the most amount of points we have had a Gillingham Football Club for playing away.

“We take it in our stride and we are always looking to improve and get better. There is a long way to go and it’s in April when the league table matters, not now but obviously this would be a fantastic game for us to win and create a bigger gap between us and 4th place.

“The players are aware of that, I certainly don’t need to bang a drum to say `we need to do this and we need to do that. `

“We know about all of their players, getting our players right is the key. We have a bit of interest in what they do; we know their style of play but our job is to go out and play well as a team and if we do that we'll be fine.”


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