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Club News


31 December 2013

Gills boss pleased to see last gasp chance go in as hosts earn point against Walsall

Peter Taylor admitted it was a nice feeling to get a result against Walsall on Sunday after suffering a late defeat at the hands of Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.

Orient won 2-1 at Priestfield, and Julian Gray’s late strike for the Saddlers nearly inflicted a similar defeat at the weekend, but Cody McDonald struck in stoppage time to secure a point in a 2-2 draw.

With games coming thick and fast Peter was happy to come away with a draw, but said the team must get better defensively.

He said: “It looked as though it was going to be another 2-1 defeat and a late goal, if that was the case we would have to get on with it but thankfully for us the ref played a very good advantage and Cody was alive and alert.

“It was nice to get something, on the day you feel disappointed with a draw but three weeks later you total up the points you have got and it’s alright, sometimes it feels better later on.

“It didn’t feel very good when we were 2-1 down because again their two goals we could easily stop and we shouldn’t give goals like that to good teams because they create enough themselves anyway.

“You have to defend a lot on the strength of their good play.

“The first half an hour I didn’t particularly like us; I think we showed a bit too much respect and were too deep as a team.

"We then pushed up a bit more and that helped Gregory and Hessenthaler to get a bit closer to them.

“There were certain times in the first half where we played some good Football; it wasn’t a case of us not trying to play.

“I just think they had a bit more confidence on the ball, at times, to be calmer. In the second half Leon Legge and Adam Barrett didn’t just head it away.

“They had two touches and kept the ball and that helped the team.”

Peter praised McDonald for his efforts during the match and believes the striker is getting better as he plays more games.

He added: “Cody McDonald was great, he looked a goal threat. In the first half he had a couple of chances and if we get him back to the way we know he can play, and he’s getting there because he’s playing extra games, that will be great for us.

“He knows he is playing regularly now and he’s getting confident playing against any central defender, he thinks he can run them.

“The first was a great goal, he took it exceptionally well and it went in the perfect position. One after that hit the cross bar, we could do with a bit more luck and then we might get a win here.”

Peter talked about the various injuries in the squad as the team prepare for the Stevenage match on New Years’ Day, including why Danny Kedwell was chosen ahead of Bayo Akinfenwa.

He said: “He might need a lift in the morning but we’ll see how he is, it won’t surprise me if he’s struggling tomorrow.

“I knew that I couldn’t do Bayo again, he was feeling a bit tired so we have juggled that around and looked at the ones that could be available for Stevenage.

“Danny knew, on the strength on not having the operation, that I was going to start him.

“He is saying he’s feeling a little bit better. His operation was cancelled but the big test is how he is Monday because people will tell you who have had a hernia that you normally play and struggle for the next five days and that’s why we were going to get it done.

“I really hope that he feels better but we’ll have to wait and see.

“Danny Hollands has a chance for New Years’ Day, not 100%. Whelpdale says he’s feeling his ankle and it wasn’t just a kick.”

Finally Peter was asked if the Stevenage game is any more important than the Wolves fixture which takes place on Friday.

He replied: “No, we have played 24 so there’s 22 to go and I don’t look at certain teams to say there is points there and not others. I look at every game to try and win; it’s as simple as that.

“Stevenage is a very important game, after that Wolves is important. It’s not a case of putting everyone out for Stevenage thinking you won’t win against Wolves.

“If things go for you and you play with a bit of belief you can beat anybody.”

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