Martin Allen delivers a message to the club's official website...
First and Foremost I am sure everybody would agree to hear the Southend United goalkeeper Paul Smith was released in the early hours of this morning without any serious injury.
It puts football into perspective when he was laid there last night and it was very worrying, but thank God he is OK.
I appreciated nearly all our supporters clapping him off and respecting a good professional.
Myles Weston and Jack Payne both failed late fitness tests yesterday afternoon. Danny Kedwell passed his.
All our players who have got knocks, strains and pains will be reviewed tomorrow lunchtime before we decide who to take up north.
It was a magnificent effort from all our players involved last night and good to see an 18-year old, a 19-year old and a 20-year old just starting his career playing a big part in us winning games.
On Saturday at Port Vale the team will need freshening up and I will make several changes to the team that was so valiant last night.
Special mentions this morning to a lady called Anna Reekie who works at the club who has helped find a house for three of our players to live in. This job is important as it means they won’t have to continue a long journey from the other side of London.
This will help and improve their performance obviously.
Thanks also to a lady called Charley Mitten for sorting out a meeting for Doug, the Pitch Announcer, and Russ the DJ – both volunteers. Both Gillingham mad. Both nice people.
I love the idea of `The Last Waltz` song that they came up with and they have an important role in making the match day experience for all of our supporters a happy one.
A special thanks to Phill Catterick who works in our media department for putting together and editing highlights of our opposition, the opposition penalties, and highlights, and there are plenty of them, of our own team performance.
A special thanks to Chris, the training ground groundsman – the pitches at the training ground are immaculate. He now has to cut it twice, not once. He waters them and he makes sure the first team training pitch is like Wembley.
A special thanks to John Plummer, our groundsman for the first team pitch. We now have the pitch cut on the morning of the game and cut twice to make it as short as possible. It’s a lot of extra work, especially for 3 o’clock kick-offs to have it cut twice and marked.
All these people are doing us proud – they help us to win matches and they deserve a lot of credit.
Our Physio James Barker will be starting a new job at Crawley on Monday. James is an absolute diamond and a very good Physio and has a willingness to learn, absorb information and been happy to take on new ideas, new ways and not live in the archaic past like a cave man talking about `this is how we’ve always done it. `
Mr. Scally offered James a very good contract to stay but it wasn’t to be. He will work for us for the last time on Saturday at Port Vale and he will always be a friend of our club and welcome back to Priestfield.
In the meantime our Youth Team Physio Stephen Corner will be our Physio and I have interviewed several people over the last 10 days and very soon we will have a new Physio working here.
Lastly some not very good news that we have to report that the structural engineers have been called in to check out the fittings of the stadium.
This has been caused after a surge of well over 90 minutes of intense singing, shouting and clapping during our performance yesterday evening.
The good news is that there is no long term damage and we now know that when more people start to come and watch, and they will, that this will be a great place to play football and a great place for us to watch football.