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MARTIN: WE ARE THE UNDERDOGS

9 August 2013

Martin looks forward to Gills skyBET League One clash with Wolves

Gills face a much anticipated away match at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and Martin Allen is under no illusions of the scale of the task awaiting his team, saying “They were in the Premier League 19 months ago so I don’t think any of us can hide from the fact it’s a big club.
 
“They’ve got some good players, a fantastic history and it’s going to be a great occasion. When you get promoted these are the sorts of games you look for. The pressures all on them isn’t it? Who’s expecting us to go and get something from Wolverhampton Wanderers?

“We’re the whipping boys aren’t we? It will be a great occasion and I will be proud of my players. When we got promoted these are the games when you test yourself. We are the underdogs, no doubt about it. That’s the challenge we face on Saturday.”

Martin revealed that he has a number of injury concerns ahead of the match but the Gills boss knows his players will rise to the occasion, “Charlie Lee has got a bruised foot, Charlie Allen has got a bruised foot, Adam Barrett has a bad leg and Bayo’s got a bad ankle.

“We had about 14 players fit this morning and after that we have the development boys. It’s ok, we can deal with that. We’ll put some of the young kids on the bench but it’s a bit different from Wolves who have about 30 players but it’s fine.

“What do you do, do you crumble and say ‘Oh my god my captain’s not fit and Bayo’s not fit?’ No, I don’t even see it as a test. We’ll get our best team out there, prepare them, train them, work them, get a game plan and we’ll do our best. As a manager I can’t ask for more than that.”

With a number of senior players doubtful for the fixture, Martin will draw on the development squad for replacements and joked about his team’s youthful balance, adding “Some of the kids we’ll have on the bench on Saturday will be eating their Haribo, they’re so young!

“We’ve got a few senior players to fill the gaps but apart from that it’s the kids. That’ll be exciting for them. I’m sure they’ve never played in front of 30,000. Me personally, I’ll just smile my way through the whole occasion and be proud of my players.

“This is what we train for, this is what we work for and this is what we prepare them for and these are the games that I want them to have in their future on a regular basis. Do I put an arm round them, no but all our players know that they’ve got me and I will look after them all.”

Finally, new loan signing Michael Harriman made a big impression in his midweek debut against Bristol City and with Matt Fish ruled out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, does Martin have plans to extend the right-back’s loan deal?

 Martin said, “We haven’t thought about extending Michael Harriman’s loan just yet but obviously it’s something we’ll consider next week.”

“Matt is seeing the consultant on Monday at 8.30 am and then he’s having the operation on Tuesday afternoon. I will hopefully have more information from the consultant on the state of play on Monday. I’m sure that operation will be fine. I’ve never asked the Chairman for anything, we chat all the time, but to be honest, all my focus at this moment in time is on Saturday.

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