Gills Manager delivers post match press conference..
Gillingham Manager Martin Allen said that his squad had given everything possible during the club’s 0-0 draw against Oxford on Saturday and were unlucky to come up against an opposition keeper in top form.
The visitors had as many as four good chances to take the lead in the first half but were denied at every opportunity by Ryan Clarke who pulled off tremendous saves from Deon Burton in particular, and Martin was quick to praise the Oxford stopper.
Following the game he said: “It’s definitely a point gained. I kept the same team apart from one and they kept going. They battled hard and worked hard, we played some great football in the first half and couldn’t manage to break them down.
“Their goalkeeper was Gordon Banks, where he pulled some of those saves from I’ll never know – he was awesome, I was clapping myself in the technical area. I had to check the team sheet that it wasn’t Joe Hart.
“We got it down and played some good football, we were a threat and we had a very attacking team out there today. We couldn’t make the breakthrough that we needed and you have to give credit to their goalkeeper because some of those saves were unbelievable.
“They nearly got in the play-offs last year so they are no mugs and Chris Wilder is a decent manager. I have been here numerous times to this club and his teams play good football, they work hard and the crowd get right behind the team.
“They haven’t had a great run but they have some good players and a lot of injuries and one thing about Chris’s teams is that they will give everything and you will always be in a battle.
“For the last 20 minutes we defended deep but we did it well and we just couldn’t turn our advantages into goals.
“Every game is hard but we have come away from home, dominated possession and created some good chances but not taken them. It’s another point in our total towards Benidorm and I don’t think we got any injuries which is nice.
“We got some fantastic support and after Tuesday night where the players put an effort in they deserve to have a little rest.
“A couple of them are coming back to full sharpness like Myles Weston who hasn’t played for a few weeks and all of the lads in the dressing room are absolutely delighted. A clean sheet away from home, another point and let’s move on to the next one.”
One player who did impress was David Wright who was substituted in the second half due to a small knock and has just one game of his loan spell remaining before his deal expires, although Martin revealed talks are going on behind the scenes to try and retain his services.
He said: “He’s a good player and been fantastic since he has been here. He’s a top class professional who knows how to play football and how to help our younger players.
“Andy Hessenthaler and the Chairman are already working on that so we will hopefully have some good news in the middle of the week and I think he can play next Saturday before the loan expires.
“He knows where the danger is – he’s a calming influence in the dressing room who looks after his body and gives everything for the club and we will do our utmost to sign him that’s for sure.
“I don’t know what the knock was, knowing him he will be alright but I will find that out.”
The result means that the Gills are still top of League Two and are unbeaten away from home this season, and Martin says the team are forever trying to improve as they look to stay top of the pile.
He said: “Its six away games unbeaten so its still going, it’s a fantastic achievement by the players and the supporters.
“There’s so much more to come –if those chances had gone in and their keeper hadn’t of made those saves we could have been standing here with a pretty handsome score but it wasn’t to be.
“Perhaps some people may be a little bit disappointed to only get a point away from home with a clean sheet but I suppose that’s credit to the players.
“We are all working hard on and off the field to make things better and we keep trying to improve what we have – the Chairman has given us unbelievable backing financially to bring in extra players that I hoped for and dreamed about.
“The club is moving forward and I’m sure the fans will all go home and say the lads have done well.”