Martin looks forward to Accrington game...
Martin Allen says his team will come up against strong, organised opposition when the Gills face Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground.
Gillingham, who currently lead the way by four points in npower League Two, will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering a late defeat at the hands of Exeter City at MEMS Priestfield on Tuesday night.
The manager says he has no fresh concerns regarding injuries and believes his team will win the game if they play to their potential.
He said: “No new injuries – everyone is fine. Bradley Dack got through his game on Tuesday night so he is fine. Joe Martin has gone to see a consultant for a scan and see if the bone still needs to repair more.
“We are two weeks in to the month that he has to wait but we are hoping he can resume after tonight [Tuesday].
“It a tough place to go, they are always a committed team and hard to play against. If we play well we will win and if our players are on it then we will take some stopping.
“We can play better, there is room for improvement but I have said that even if we win 4-0.
“I will happily settle for a 1-0 away victory and that will be brilliant taking us in to FA Cup week.
“If we play how we play and we move the ball around the pitch the less they can do and that’s what we say week in, week out.
“It’s always windy, it’s always rainy and they are always competitive and over the years they have made some good teams.
“We’ve got a free week next week – we have our plans for Preston and that’s all done. We need to get this job done at Accrington and do a professional day’s work, take a break and then get ready for the FA Cup from next Wednesday.
“We need to get this one in the bag and then probably play our reserves at Preston to save players for the league games.”
A certain James Beattie is likely to be part of the Accrington team tomorrow, and Martin says the striker will need to be kept quiet due to his experience.
He said: “James is still a good player, he was at Sheffield United last year in League One and when he played he played very well. Accrington, I think, have a tremendous acquisition in getting him in and whenever I have met him or spoken to him he seems a decent bloke.
“He seems honest and fair play to him because I think he has a coaching role there aswell. He’s a quality footballer, he’s very bright and he knows how the game is played.
“He’s difficult to play against and his link up play is good.”
Back to his own squad and Martin revealed that the club are negotiating a fresh deal with Joe Martin whose contract runs out at the end of the season, and the manager praised his full back for his attitude since he has joined the club.
He said: “All of the players have been absolutely fantastic but Joe is a great player and since I have been here I have been so impressed with him.
“We are in negotiations about him signing a new contract for the club. He trains hard, works hard, has an attitude to improve so Hessy is dealing with that one and hopefully very soon he will sign a new contract.
“He can do the warm-ups and technical work but he can do nothing that might bang his wrist for obvious reasons. It’s well strapped and bandaged incase a ball does hit him but he’s been working with our fitness coach on various parts of his game which we think he can improve.
“When you see him running at the training ground you think what an athlete and a good lad. He’s an important part of how we play.”
Sadly Joe was missing for the midweek game against Exeter which the Gills lost late on, but Martin said his players were looking for the winner and momentarily got caught out at the back. The management were trying to pass on instructions, but as the manager explained the noise prevented them from passing messages on.
He said: “Every point, home or away, is a good point and we did try to change it tactically after the goalkeeper’s save but we just couldn’t get the instructions out there quick enough.
“There was too much noise and on the next attack they came back at us so we did try but we were left too open and we can’t afford to do that.
“It was impossible – Carl Muggleton has a great whistle which we use, John Schofield went out and tried because we were playing two wingers with Chris Whelpdale and Romain Vincelot in the middle who both like to bomb forward.
“We were down to four at the back and then Adam was trying to get the winner so we had three at the back. We got him in to the back four but we needed one of the midfielders to come back and protect but by then it was too late.
“I think every Gillingham supporter that has been here, the squad, the staff and the media – I’m sure you will all say they try their best, they work as hard as they can, they work right until the end, they are down to earth, hardworking and have massive desire.
“As a manager and a coach you can’t knock your players when they are giving everything. Exeter are in the play-offs and they are there for a reason. They were playing in division one last year and they have some good players and when those types of players are on a run of form they are dangerous and difficult to stop.
“With Cureton and Gow they had two outstanding players but it’s up to us to counter that and we will over time.
“What we have done has been built on good defending and being solid and hard to beat. The goalkeeper and the back four will be the first to say that the people in front of them have been brilliant.
“To concede three goals was a bit of a shock but it’s certainly not time to draw the curtains and look at the floor. We were not awful, we were OK.”
Aside from the league game against Exeter the development squad were also in action against Bromley in the second round of the Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday evening, and despite defeat, Martin was pleased with the report he got back from his coaching staff.
He said: “The lads started really well but they couldn’t quite hold on to it. They were a bigger and stronger team to what we are used to playing against.
“There were some very good performances – Jack Payne played in that game to help with his fitness and keep him sharp so I’m really pleased that he got 90 minutes under his belt.
“They all did really well. Its long term with those players, not short term. I text both of the managers Patto and Darren Hare before the game and said `remember its performances and not results at this moment in time. `
“I know they both want to win but it’s important they keep their eye on the future and not on today.”