Gills Manager takes the positives from opening day loss to Colchester
Martin Allen has said if Saturday’s performance against Colchester is repeated on a consistent basis then his team will win several games in skyBET League One.
Andrew Bond struck late on to snatch victory in the dying moments at Priestfield over the weekend, but Martin was adamant his players could not have tried any harder.
He said: “I thought they all played well – it was a big game with high expectancy and everyone was desperate for them to win.
“We had a few chances where we could have put them away and I don’t want to pick out anyone for good play or failure for doing certain things or losing the ball.
“We need to dust ourselves down, not be too disappointed and go again on Tuesday night against Bristol City.
"We will probably make some changes to the team to give some of the players who didn’t play today the opportunity.
“They ran themselves in to the ground and as a supporter and as a manager you couldn’t ask any more of the players. They gave 100% and more in my opinion.
“The supporters have given our players everything they have got and I try personally to look after them all the time.
Criticising and knocking their confidence doesn’t do anybody any good so it’s my job to help.
“If they keep playing like that then we will win games, no doubt.”
Martin included Charlie Lee in his starting line-up who hasn’t featured much during pre-season, but with the midfielder so lively in training it left the Manager with a decision to make.
He added: “I had a chat with Charlie, his move to Southend didn’t happen for one reason or another and I thought `play him, ` so I did.
“While he is here and under contract we have 17 players so it would be foolish not to use him. I thought he played really well – the crowd and the players like him and he was superb.”
As for other players, Myles Weston returned after a hamstring problem but Charlie Allen was ruled out after suffering a bizarre injury at the training ground earlier in the week.
He added: "Charlie Allen was playing head tennis at the training ground on Monday and one of the hooks that keeps the ropes up has gone in to the side of his boot and in to his foot which has cut it.
“It’s a complete freak injury and his foot is infected. He isn’t available and that’s tough for him.
“Myles started training on Tuesday so we put him up front to try and test them and pressure their back four.
“He won games last year by playing that role and when Bayo came on he went to the left hand side and he was able to get some very good crosses in.
“We put a team out to go and win, no regrets on any of the subs.”
Watch Martin deliver his post match press conference by clicking here.