Assistant Manager looking forward to Bradford trip
Gills Assistant Manager John Schofield says `there is absolutely no way` that Saturday’s opponents Bradford will have one eye on the Capital One Cup Final as they prepare for the weekend’s league fixture.
The Bantams will play Swansea at Wembley in the League Cup Final later this month, but Schofield quashed any suggestion that their league performance may suffer as a result.
Speaking in his midweek press conference he said:
“I know their Manager and Assistant Manager and there is no way they will be thinking about the Cup Final. They will concentrate on this game because that’s the most important game of their careers, because it’s the next game.
“Like it is for our lads. I will be going to watch Bradford in the Cup Final and shouting them on because I think it’s fantastic what they have done, but as for Saturday they will be fully focussed on us.
“They are a hard working side, they’ve got good players, play as a team, pass well, play quickly, they have a good togetherness and can play varied football. They are going to be a real threat and a side that has knocked out Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa is a very good side.
“There is absolutely no way that they will be thinking about that game, their main priority will be Gillingham Football Club coming on Saturday and that is what their concentration will be on without a shadow of a doubt.
“It’s a fantastic ground, it will be a fantastic crowd and I am really looking forward to going there. We will go there, enjoy it and put on a good show.”
Despite losing late on against Wycombe on Monday night John once again re-iterated that match preparation remains the same whatever the result, and re-emphasised what a positive start the side had to the season doing those things.
He said: “Teams have come with a different game plan now – they are a bit more difficult to break down at times and at the end of the day if you look across the games in the league there are varying levels of consistency at times.
“We have to remember what a fantastic start to the season we had, at the moment we are continuing to pick points up and that’s what we need to do. We need to continue doing that and it’s an accumulation of 46 games.
“We are just focussing on getting as many points as we can and at the end of the season we will know where we are. That’s all we are looking at. Have we got targets and goals? Of course we have but we just look to pick up maximum points from every game, if we can’t then we try to get a point.
“If we don’t get anything then we do what we do every game – we look at the DVD’s and pick out the positives. There were plenty of positives from Monday night so we will work on those areas, work on the areas to improve and develop as a group of players together.
“Whether we win, lose or draw a game that has been our process all year so that will continue and every game we play at this club positives come out of it and it’s how we develop those which is what we are doing now.
“We looked dangerous from set pieces, we had good passages of play and we looked energetic. We battled and we scrapped, the basics that are required for any football match were there in abundance and that is our foundation.
“We are doing the basics right and with the quality of players we have got and team play and togetherness will continue to pick us points up until the end of the season.
“Some days it doesn’t quite work out that way but as long as the basics are there with the hard work, the endeavour and commitment then we can always build on that.
“We evaluate every game and we take positives forward from every game. Away from home is a slightly different game, the onus is always on the home team and every home fan, whatever position you are in the league or whatever club you are at, expects you to get the points.
“When you are away from home it sometimes plays in to your hands so we just continue with the processes we have got to develop and keep improving.”
John took time out to praise for the fans for their continued support throughout the season, and said the club are more than grateful for their efforts.
He added: "The fans have been absolutely unbelievable, not just here but everywhere we go.
“They never stop singing; they wait for us when we are pulling up on the coach. They shout good luck messages, lads sign autographs and there is a real camaraderie between the players and the fans.
“We know it’s not cheap to just come and watch a football match, let alone complete three, four hundred mile long trips. It’s a fantastic effort from them which we really appreciate and if you look at the performances over the year, we put them in and I think that’s why the fans are proud and following us because they know what they will see when they turn up.”