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JACKO: "PRE-SEASON IS HUGE"

24 July 2012

Gills midfielder insists minutes on the pitch are vital

Gills midfielder Danny Jackman says he has unfinished business at the club, and has a personal aim of trying to help the club achieve promotion under new boss Martin Allen.

Jackman signed a one-year contract extension in June having been voted the Player of the Year, and is now hoping the team can mark its centenary season with promotion to League One.

Speaking exclusively to the club's official website he said:

"I felt after missing out on the play-offs and not getting promoted that I had a bit of unfinished business. When I arrived we were in League One, I didn't play much in the year we went down but getting the club back up was in the back of my mind when negotiating.

"I had other interest but I know this club inside out, I've been here a long time so it was nice to get it done and dusted.

"It's a good club with a lot of tradition and a lot of values. It's good for me to play here for this season and if I can twin it with success by going up or getting into the play-offs at least then I would be very happy.

"We know that we have under achieved with the squad we have got and we want to put it right. We've got a few new ideas, hopefully a few additions to try and give us a lift but its vitally important the club gets back to where we all believe it should be which is in League One."

The players returned from a five day training camp in Le Touquet earlier this week and were then involved in a training ground match against Dagenham on Wednesday, a game they won 3-0.

Jackman says although it was a tough training camp, the players need to regain full fitness as quickly as possible to get them prepared for the start of the new league season.

He said: "On a personal level I know that. I've had pre-seasons here that have been disrupted with injury and it affects the whole season - you get niggles here, there and everywhere and you don't find your form.

"It's vitally important that we get the minutes on the pitch, it's a massive thing. No one likes doing it but its stuff that you need to do to progress and be able to last the whole season.

"We had a tough couple of days over there with some triple sessions but it's what we needed to get our base level fitness.

"We are looking good at the minute, we feel sharp and it will put us in good stead for the rest of the season.

"It's all about getting used to playing again and trying to put in some of the manager's new ideas and playing in a game situation. It was tough having had those days in France but it was nice to get out on the pitch and play an actual game."

Allen has been in the job for less than a month but already he is trying to get across his ideas to the squad, and the midfielder says the team are taking things very seriously.

He added: "They are fresh ideas and it's like a breath of fresh air. The lads are taking to it really well - its early days and he has a lot of ideas he wants to put across and the boys have brought into it so it's going well.

"We are working on basic play - passing, moving and setting things back and moving again. It's still very early days but it's about support play, helping your mates out and that's what we have touched on so far."

The 29-year-old is pleased that the Gills will start their league campaign at home, but also said the team will travel to Ashton Gate with the hope of beating Bristol City in the first round of the Capital One Trophy.

He said: "The past few seasons we have been at home which is always nice because it gives you that extra advantage and if you get three points it sends you on your way and confidence flows from that.

"However we will go in the Bristol City game wanting to win, there will be no pressure on us at all and we will play the way we want to play and try and get a win."


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