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25 February 2013

Gills Captain says squad are focussed on promotion objective

Adam Barrett says the team’s strong position in npower League Two will in no way make the squad complacent.

Cody McDonald’s 50th minute goal gave the Gills all three points at Chesterfield on Saturday to stay top of the league, and the skipper was proud that the result set a new club record of 11 away wins in a season.

Speaking after the game he said: “It’s another tremendous win and I think we broke the record which is a fantastic achievement to go away from home again and get another win, 11 so far.

“It’s an unbelievable record, something we are extremely proud of. Long may it continue and it’s another massive three points.

“We have to dig in, we’ve gone away from home to a lot of places and we’ve had to show our resolve, character and defend valiantly and I thought we did that again Saturday.

“The pitch made it difficult but I thought we played some very good stuff in the first half especially.”

Manager Martin Allen described Saturday as `an historic day` with the club record being broken, and Adam said as Captain it is something he will look back on and be pleased with.

“In the 100 odd years in the history of the club no-one has done what we have done. To break that record is testament to the staff, the management, supporters and the players – we have done it all together, there are some tough away games but we have rolled our sleeves up and shown what we are about.

“To go down in history to be the team that has got that record and to be the Captain I am extremely proud of that and there are a few more away games to come so let’s try to add to that before the end of the season.

“We do everything as a team; we attack as a team and defend as a team. People might say the back four and the keeper but it started with the front two.

“If you have a good shape and a good structure, which we have done and worked on it, then you are hard to break down and we have proved that time and time again and you just have to look at our defensive record across the league – it’s by far the best and we want to continue now.

“The gaffer has been fantastic this year; he has come in and given the place a big lift.

“It’s a fantastic bunch of players, we are grafters, we all want to do well, we are hungry for success and the gaffer keeps you on your toes and keeps the standards high which you need and it’s a good combination.

“We have no bad apples; everyone comes in every day smiling ready to work. The gaffer is very professional in the way he goes about his business and is hot on little detail.

“We are organised, the structure is there and that’s down to the gaffer and his management team who put that in place and so far it’s been a fantastic season but we want to get over that finish line now.”

Barrett said that the players remain focussed and determined as ever to win promotion, but conceded he would love if it the Gills were able to go up as champions.

He said: “It’s an enjoyable place to be, it’s a fantastic football club. We have a great set of lads, a great team, great staff and we are all pulling in the right direction.

“We have topped the table now for so long, promotion is the main aim. That is the be all and end all but us and Port Vale seem to be having a tug of war at the top and Rotherham are coming on strong, so it will be difficult.

“As players we want to go and win it and as Captain I want to go and lit that trophy at the end of the season and I want to be Champion. We will be working extremely hard to try and do that but the first aim is promotion and we need to make sure we do that.

“We have a lot of games coming up and a lot of points to play for and we can’t get ahead of ourselves.”

The team will now re-group as they prepare to take on Oxford United tomorrow evening, and the skipper said a further win would bring them even closer to their ultimate goal.

He said: “Another big game Tuesday at home and I think next month we have quite a few games so that’s going to be a busy schedule and we have to make sure everyone is ready to come in and do their bit, but it’s one game at a time.

“If we can get three points there then it’s a step closer to where we want to be. So far it’s been tremendous, these are not easy places to come sometimes but we dug in and got the result that we deserved.”

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