Martin says making history would mean a lot to the players and staff
Martin Allen says he and the players have discussed how special the feeling would be if they could make history for the club this weekend.
A point against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday would spark huge celebrations for the club in the final home game of the season, and Martin says he has had a lot of correspondence from supporters to praise what the players have achieved.
He said: “It means a lot to the players and we have spoken about it in private. It would be very special to all of us to make history for a football club and to be champions.
“We spoke about it at the beginning when we played Bradford, right back then we were going that way and had our aims and vision.
“We haven’t quite got the points total that we wanted, which was 90. That’s what we aimed for before the first ball was kicked, that was adjustable to go up to 100 should we improve.
“The main focus has always been to get promotion, and the second one once it had been achieved, was to be champions. You would not believe the amount of people that have written to me and I am going to write to all of them but I have so many!
“Some people say that they have supported Gillingham for 50 years even and this is the highlight of their lives so that makes you very proud.
“They have noted the fact that we have tried to be close the supporters by welcoming them to the training ground. Our players have to make sure they respect our supporters whatever the weather or the result.
“The supporters recognise the discipline of the players and the fact we have done really well. A couple of our young players got sent off at the beginning of the season but we have been able to adjust that.
“The discipline and conduct of them has been commented on and they are just a humble group of people and I think the fans have been the first to admit that it was a fantastic beginning to the season.
“It got a little bit tricky but over the last few months they have just kept going as a seven out of ten week in, week out. It hasn’t been spectacular or breath-taking but it’s been a steady on-going job.
“A couple of times there have been a few little dips and against Plymouth Argyle it was a big game and the supports recognised how the players came back from that setback and I thought that was a magical moment.
“I’ve had a lot of letters about a wide range of things.”
Martin commented on what will happen at the football club once the season comes to a close following the Burton match next Saturday, and says the players will keep themselves fit for the start of the new campaign.
He added: “We play Burton, we have a function on the Sunday, we then have a trip for a few days and at the end of that week we will meet up then.
“I know what I’m doing – I’ve been here a year, if I don’t know what I’m doing by now then something is majorly wrong. We haven’t got that many players here at the moment, we had four youth team players training with us on Thursday morning and two of them will be subs on Saturday.
“The development squad played at Orient and won again – Hessenthaler, Hare, Nyafli, Grant, Haysman and Muggleton trained with the first team squad because with a couple missing out and the German having gone back we only have 15 pros available.
“All this lot can play above and there is no doubt about that and most of them have done it anyway. The ones on the way up will only get better so that’s a no brainer, they will all be fine.
“They will all train and all keep themselves fit during the summer and if they don’t come back in good shape then they will probably have to leave.
“They know what they have to do, they conduct themselves and they are top pro players. They are treated as to pros by us and that’s why we are top of the league and why we have done so well.
“Next year it won’t be any different, there’s a few big boys coming down from the Championship which we are looking forward to playing. We will add to our squad to improve it and how exciting going in to next season.”
Finally the Manager revealed a couple of injury concerns to his back four which will require fresh faces coming in to the side.
He said: “Joe Martin has a fractured big toe, someone trod on it last week so he can’t play. It’s an impact injury but it’s OK because someone else will go in to that position and do well.
“Joe has had a brilliant season; he’s a great lad and a good professional.
“Leon Legge is very doubtful; I don’t think he will play. He should have come off at half time on Saturday but Joe Martin had come off and Leon saw our left back had gone and he had a problem with his hip.
“He has tightness all the way down his lower back so he is 50/50.”
To read the first part of Martin’s press conference click here.
To watch it over three parts on player click here.