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MARTIN: "I'M VERY PROUD"

1 April 2013

Gills boss delighted with collective effort after Rotherham win

Gills boss Martin Allen said the whole team deserved credit following the 1-0 win over Rotherham on Monday.

Deon Burton’s first half strike was enough to clinch all three points at MEMS Priestfield, but the Manager was keen to stress the collective efforts of his side.

He said: “Deon will get the headlines but this is a squad and we are a team. On and off the field we are very strong, there were over 500 supporters up at Fleetwood the other day and I don’t know how many there were here today but it felt like 20,000.

“They didn’t stop singing from start to finish – other results have gone our way and I think everyone knew that today was April Fools’ Day, and there was no way we were going to be the fools.

“They are tenacious, they are hungry, disciplined, strong, mentally fit and I am very proud of all of them.

“They have good players, they pay a lot of money and their squad is expensive. We had a 17, 18 and 19-year old on the bench. Charlie Lee wasn’t fit, Dack isn’t fit, Frampton was suspended – I decided a few of weeks ago not to get anyone else in and go with what we’ve got.

“I suppose it was a bit of a gamble, I could have perhaps brought in some extra players to help us through. Muggleton is a first year scholar; McKain is only 18 has been out at Maidenhead. Josh Hare has been doing particularly well so he was on the edge of it today.

“I thought we would keep our unity, team spirit and give our younger lads some experience.”

Stuart Nelson made two top saves to keep the visitors out, one of which at full stretch to tip over the bar, and Martin heaped praise on his goalkeeper for helping to earn a clean sheet.

He added: “It was a good save but he made a better save in my opinion in the first half. The guy got through, the only time in the game that they did get through, that was the best save for me.

“Every supporter was chanting `England’s number one` so he does get the plaudits. How we managed to get him on a free transfer I will never know, he is a fantastic goalkeeper and has got years and years ahead of him.

“He is getting better and better with age – without a shadow of a doubt he can play higher, will play higher and we are very lucky to have him.

“Legge was a free transfer aswell, Gregory was a free transfer and I am absolutely delighted for him and I think the crowd enjoyed watching him play because he hasn’t had it easy and for me he was our best player.

“He’s had a bit of a tough time and he hasn’t been quite as confident or as comfortable as he perhaps would have liked but today I thought he was outstanding.

“Some of the players will go to Luton tomorrow to play in a reserve game and we will just keep working forward. We have got our targets and we know what we want to do and there is still a lot to play for.”

For our official match report click here.


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