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TAYLOR: ORIENT IS MASSIVE MATCH FOR US

23 December 2013

Peter Taylor focused on Orient clash following deserved win over Tranmere

Gills Manager Peter Taylor believes his team have nothing to fear going in to the game against league leaders Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.


An impressive 2-1 win over Tranmere at Prenton Park on Friday evening has put the Gills in to place in the league tableth14, and Taylor believes a repeat performance against Orient will give his side a great chance.


He said: “To be fair Orient have been magnificent all season and what a start they have had and they are still going so it’s a massive match for us. We will be getting ourselves prepared for that, we will be training the right amount before Christmas.


“It’s a good end to the first bit for us [Christmas period] and it’s a nice position in the league table at the minute. I know we’ve played some games more than other teams.


“The most important thing now is Leyton Orient and if we can go and perform like we did last time at Priestfield then I will be happy with that.


“We played Peterborough then who are a good team, Orient are another good team. People are expecting us not to be at them but we can take a lot of confidence from Friday.”


It looks likely that Danny Kedwell will miss the game due to a possible hernia problem, but Peter is delighted to see Bayo Akinfenwa take his chance after scoring both goals against Rovers.


He added: “You feel sorry for yourselves at times, you get injuries but I’m sure all clubs have slight injuries and will be missing players over the Christmas period.


“It certainly tests you more but certainly makes the selection easier!


“All clubs are the same, people like Wolves have really big squads but other squads will be like ourselves.


“We are disappointed Danny Kedwell is not fit but then all of a sudden Bayo comes in and scores the important goals for us which is fantastic and he will improve on that.


“He has worked ever so hard in training, he has worked really hard on his fitness and he has showed what a handful he can be if we can get the ball in to him.


“Danny could be out for a while; we need to look at that on Monday. He could be out for three or four weeks, hopefully that’s not the case.


“He might have a hernia situation but we are checking that.”


On a more positive note Craig Fagan could return to the starting 11 following his thigh problem, and Taylor said he decided not to risk bringing him on at Tranmere partly due to the added time it would have created.


He said: “He was very close, honestly he was fine and we could have put him on and I thought about it but in the end because it was getting so tight and because of the poor goal we gave away I just didn’t want to take the chance.


“And I thought the ref might add on another couple of minutes when you make that substitution so I think you need to be careful when you do that.”


Injuries have allowed some of the younger players to take centre stage, including Jake Hessenthaler who has grasped his opportunity with both hands since starting the match at Notts County.


Peter is pleased for the younger contingent and was also delighted with the introduction of Steven Gregory.


He said: “I’m pleased for the young players; I thought Bradley Dack and Hess played ever so well. That’s the best game I have seen Steven Gregory play in since I’ve been here.


“He broke up a lot of their play and they still had some good footballers in midfield so you have to do that.


“He was terrific and I’m sure he is good for Jake in there because he helps him get in to certain areas.


“Jake knows where we want the balls to go; he knows where the strikers will make the runs for him.


“We are very pleased with him; we won’t get carried away because he knows he needs to keep working.


"If we can get a few more players fit there will be more competition for places so anyone that takes their foot off could end up being out of the team.”


Read Peter's immediate Tranmere reaction here.


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