Gills youngster adamant a repeat of the Boxing Day display will give the side an opportunity to claim victory over the SaddlersJake Hessenthaler says the team have got every chance of gaining a result against Walsall on Sunday if they can repeat the performance put in against Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.
A late goal from substitute Yohann Lasimant stole all three points right at the death for the league leaders in a 2-1 win, but Hessenthaler believes if the players can take their chances when they come along, they will be a difficult side to beat.
He said: “We worked so hard in the first half and if we had taken our chances it could have been over by the second half. It’s one of those things, it happens and we need to start trying to finish games earlier and not concede late goals because we are prone to that at the moment.
“I thought the lads work rate was unbelievable again but we had no luck on our side.
“We got told to get in their faces early and not let them have an easy ride at the start and I thought we did that and got the goal early which was very deserved and we could have had a couple more before their penalty miss.
“If we take our chances it could be a different story.
“They are top of the league and they are there for a reason and I think we can be proud and take a lot of positives from the game. We deserved a point at least but I thought we deserved more than that.
“Hearing the reports they [Walsall] pass it around for fun and we want to try and do that ourselves so we need to try and get in their faces early and start well like we did against Orient.
“If we play as well as we did then we can definitely match them and try to get three points.”
Hessenthaler has started four games since he made his debut away at Rotherham in late November, and despite having played well, the midfielder remains grounded and says he must continue to work hard and maintain the standards he has set himself.
He added: “I’m taking it game by game and trying to play as well as I can, get the ball and try to enjoy it. I want to help the team as much as possible and if I’m doing that then great.
“I’ve got to keep on top of my game because if you drop your levels you won’t be playing. If you want to play you need to play well and I set those targets myself and put pressure on myself to play well and try to stay in the side.
“Young players don’t really fear anything, we just want to go out and express ourselves and I think the senior ones are feeding off it.
“I thought whenever I got my chance I needed to take it with both hands and I feel like I’ve done that in the last couple of games.
“It’s a great feeling, playing Football is what I love to do and as long as I’m playing I will be a very happy young man.”