Gills midfielder praises consistent work ethic of squad...
Charlie Lee said he expected a strong performance from the Gills squad on Tuesday evening against Northampton after he conceded the team were disappointed to come out of the York game with just a point.
Despite extreme weather conditions the Gills looked solid from start to finish in the 2-0 win against Aidy Boothroyd’s side, and although Lee admitted he may not have enjoyed watching the game, he felt the squad applied themselves well.
He said: “After Saturday we were a bit down, it was the first time this season we felt a bit dejected after the game. To be honest I wouldn’t have wanted to of been Northampton because I knew there was going to be a big come back.
“The boys were raring to go and it showed in the performance.
“I wouldn’t of wanted to have watched that one, I enjoyed playing in it and winning but it probably wasn’t the best on the eye.
“They came and set up with a big guy up front and they are quite direct but they are very good at it. It played in to our hands, we deal with the long ball well, we get men behind the ball and we are hard to break down.
“Some teams sit with 10 men behind the ball and it hasn’t suited us – they came and tried to attack and we looked strong and it was a good performance.
“At home fans can get a bit anxious and the players get anxious too and sometimes we expect too much from ourselves and we are in a real great position.
“We are top of the league, 10 points clear of fourth and we just need to ride the roller coaster now. We have been playing some good football and we need to build on that at home now.
“We haven’t picked up as many points in the last few games as we did at the start of the season but if you look around we are still the same amount of points of everyone except for Port Vale where it’s now two instead of five.
“Every team at the top is finding it hard because when you’re at the top teams sit in behind and make it hard and we’re not going to have the 10 wins out of 11 like we did at the start of the season because teams set up differently.
“You just need to keep picking up points and on our current form I think if we keep it up we will get promoted.
“We just can’t be too harsh on ourselves when we drop points, especially when it’s a draw because you still pick up a point.
“We don’t know when we are beaten, we are hard to break down and we have a good attitude in regards to our fitness and work ethic and the gaffer doesn’t sign anyone who hasn’t got that.”
Cody McDonald had put the Gills ahead in the third minute after taking advantage of a fortuitous bounce which deceived keeper Lee Nicholls, and with the striker having scored twice in two games Charlie feels he is a valuable addition.
He said: “He doesn’t stop scoring does he? I played here on loan with him, I played four games and he scored four goals and I’ve played two games with him this time and he’s scored twice.
“He’s a player of high quality, he knows where the goal is and we’re very lucky to have him back and long may his good form continue.
“He has come in and fitted in straight away. Fishy was absolutely devastated that he took it and I was so glad to be the one to tell Fishy that it wasn’t his goal because he thought it was.
“Telling him that it is one of the best things I have ever had to do because he turned round and was already celebrating. It was a good goal from Cody as he gambled on it and we did really well in hard conditions.”
The midfielder has been in the wars during both recent home games – against York he suffered slight concussion due to a clash of heads before injuring his foot against Northampton.
He said: “I don’t really remember the clash of heads but immediately I felt fine but apparently I wasn’t. After about 10 minutes of running around I felt a bit dodgy so the gaffer pulled me off.
“Once I had five minutes to calm myself down and I felt alright but the next day I felt a bit tight and the doctor gave me some tests, including a concussion test and I passed them all and the gaffer let me play.
“I had a damaged nerve in my elbow so I couldn’t feel my fingers so it was quite funny taking a throw-in without any feeling in two of my fingers! Luckily that went away the next day.
“I had some sad news regarding their player who I clashed heads with who fractured his skull so hopefully he comes back alright by the end of the season.
“I kicked the bottom of someone’s foot [on Tuesday] and as it was hurting I looked around and everyone was laughing at me saying `here we go again, ` I just get stick all the time now on the pitch.”
In order for Charlie to return to action he had to pass a couple of tests as he explained, before then insisting he did not score an own goal last weekend.
He said: “You get reeled off numbers and say it in reverse order – some of the boys would have failed that test. Callum Davies and Connor Essam [a former team-mate of Charlie’s] could never have done that as Connor couldn’t count to ten.
“A few of the boys would have struggled without concussion but I managed to pass it so it’s all good. I had to remember 718462 and then repeat it backwards – I can’t get that number out of my head now, I’ll remember it for the rest of my life!
“It’s outrageous – I should have cleared it but it took a funny bounce and leapt over me, I definitely didn’t touch it. I don’t really care but I feel sorry for the bloke who scored from the corner flag and he hasn’t been given it.
“I should have cleared it, and we laugh now, but it cost us two points so you have to concentrate when defending set pieces. I was a bit gutted to find out it was given to me when I didn’t touch it.”