Gills Manager delivers midweek press conference...
Gills Manager Martin Allen has challenged his players to remain unbeaten for as long as possible as he looks to keep the club at the top of npower League Two.
Gillingham have yet to taste defeat in the league this season and are a point clear of nearest rivals Exeter City, but Martin has re-emphasised that the players need to remain focussed and determined to improve.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference he said:
“Bristol Rovers have a very good manager and they have some good players.
“Every game we play is a tough one but the most important thing is that we focus on our jobs and, personally, to pick the right team to put on a good performance and if they play to their maximum we can beat everybody in this league and that is the challenge.
“I don’t want five games – we want 15 or 20 unbeaten and that’s the standard we need to look for and try to achieve. We have a meeting at 10.15 [which took place on Thursday] to re-iterate that we want to remain unbeaten, set our sights high and keep it going.
“I hear we have broken records with three away wins or the best start ever, but we want to make history and go past all of that and put flags down rather than just say `this is good` and start patting ourselves on the back – the work has only just begun to be honest.”
Martin was asked how the players will remain motivated and energised as the games continue to come thick and fast. He replied:
“Well that’s up to them, their vision, their goals, their earning potential and their careers. They are earning good bonuses; we changed the structure in the summer where if they were top of the league they would earn good money and they are being rewarded for their dedication.
“Who in life doesn’t want to earn and do better for themselves? We need to keep all of them focussed – we have 21 or 22 senior players and we need to keep them all happy and going in the right direction.
“We want to play in the division above, that’s everybody’s goal. If you get a good bonus every month that keeps you motivated.”
The team were given a hectic fixture schedule at the start of the season, but Martin says the players have dealt with it well and is pleased that the squad haven’t been hampered by injuries.
He added: “Eight games in 25 days is a tough schedule by any football club’s standards and thankfully our good young players have come in and done really well, as have the new signings and the players from last year have gelled together.
“They have all shown great commitment to each other and the club – we have nobody injured as we currently speak which is down to our preparation, planning and organisation and quality of our staff.
“To not have a player injured following eight games in 25 days is some going – I’m very proud of that and I’m sure the players are. This is the sort of professionalism we expect and demand and the players have seen they can get their rewards from it.
“With the amount of games there has been a lot of work done in the swimming pool at the club. There has been a lot of yoga type work and a lot of low maintenance and low key training sessions where people don’t get injured.
“On these days it has allowed me to do team play and go over areas of play I thought we could improve on. That isn’t hard work, it’s pretty easy and it’s teaching and coaching rather than physical work.
“We all do that together and all of the first team squad are involved. They are always training with us so everyone knows what is going on.”