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Club News

MARTIN: IT'S A TOUGH GAME

19 October 2012

Martin looks forward to tomorrow's match with Burton Albiob

The Gills are in action at home again this weekend with play-off contenders Burton Albion visiting MEMS Priestfield Stadium and manager Martin Allen is looking forward to the test, “They are eight games unbeaten so it’s a big challenge, a tough game.

“They’ve got some particularly good players, they’ve got some match winners in their team, so they are dangerous and eight games unbeaten tells an awful lot, doesn’t it. That’s a better record than ours. We’ve got to be on top form and if we are on top form we will win.” 

With Under-16’s tickets for tomorrow’s game priced at just £1.00 the club are expecting a bumper gate and Martin stressed the importance of putting on a good display for the supporters, “As a manager you hope your team is going to play well and that your players are going to put in a performance that will send all the supporters away happy.

“That feeling of walking away from the football ground when your team has won is magic. I think the fella that plays our music has got a nice song now, from the old days, for the supporters and it seems like a good old atmosphere.

“I love that moment when all the players go into the middle of the pitch to give an ovation, an appreciation, if you like, from the players to the supporters. I think it’s working vice-versa now and there’s a lovely spirit amongst both our teams, on and off the field. I hide, but I watch it and I like it and that makes it special for me.”

With talks on-going to extend David Wright’s loan spell from Crystal Palace Martin may need to change his starting XI, but he knows he has plenty of options available, “I’m not being funny but they can all play in every position.

“When we work on our training pitch they all watch and see what other people do. All attackers have to play as defenders and occasionally defenders have to play as forwards, we all rotate the midfield players to play as defenders and put the defenders to play in midfield. Everybody knows what’s going on.

“When we’re working with those specific groups on the pitch, the others have to watch the coaching and they are all adaptable, they are all flexible, they are all good athletes, they are all bright, they are all receptive and they all take it on board. They are all know what they’ve got to do and it doesn’t matter
who plays there, anyone can play there, no worries.”

And with an away trip to Torquay United coming up this Tuesday evening, Martin explained why he will have no hesitation to rotate his squad for the fixture, adding “I thought we played really, really well at Oxford and I made an error. I made a mistake, I never changed the team and I didn’t put other players in my team. 

“I thought that for the last 20 minutes away at Oxford we looked a bit tired, a bit fatigued. We were having to defend very deep because we didn’t have the running power to get further up the field and retain possession higher up the pitch.

“We beat Northampton on the Tuesday before and I stupidly put the same group out expecting the same pace and power. We had the passion but we faded in the second half and I kicked myself that whole weekend.

“I had good players on the substitute’s bench that were absolutely gagging to play and I should have changed it, so this week I will go back to doing what we do best and our squad is going to play next week.”

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