Striker says squad will knuckle down and go again

Deon Burton conceded that the players felt down following Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Oxford but said the entire team are determined to bounce back against Aldershot at the weekend.

A late goal from Alfie Potter prevented the Gills from extending their lead at the top of the table, but the experienced striker said the players will stick together and will be ready to go again on Saturday.

He said: “Very disappointing, all of the players are a bit down because everyone to a man knows they can do a bit better.

“I think we did a bit better in the second half and unfortunately we let the goal in at the end but we’ll live to fight another day.

“We don’t become bad players overnight, we have got to where we are by being a unit and sticking together and we’ll carry on doing that.

“We’ve still got 12 games to go; we are still top of the league and these things happen and it’s the way you bounce back.

“We weren’t up to it, we weren’t on full tilt and a few of the fans let us know.

“They are entitled to their opinion – they hear about what we do away from home, we come back to our home ground and they expect to see the same, unfortunately it didn’t happen but we will knuckle down at the end of the week and we’ll go again.

“We just keep going, we didn’t like our performance or the result but I’m guessing the Port Vale players are feeling exactly the same as us. “

Burton praised striking partner Adam Birchall for the way he played and believes he just needs a goal to get him going.

He said: “Birchy come in and worked his socks off, he did well I thought and just needs games to get his goals. Once he gets that first one he’ll be alright and with Keds back now and the new lad on loan there are a few options to go forward.

“Every striker thrives on goals, that is what we’re judged on. In training he [Birchall] is magnificent; he’s like a fox in the box. He’s round all the defender’s ankles and once he gets the first one I know he’ll kick on.”