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MARTIN: "TO WIN WAS MASSIVE RELIEF"

31 January 2013

Gills boss delighted to seal home win...

Martin Allen admitted there was a huge sigh of relief in the dugout when Gillingham secured a 2-0 victory against Northampton at MEMS Priestfield on Tuesday evening.

Goals from Cody McDonald and Myles Weston gave the home side all three points which were enough to give Gills top spot in the league once more, and Martin was delighted to see the fans happy after a couple of frustrating results.

He said: “You saw the celebrations from the team, from the dugout and of course the relief from all of our supporters who turned out in terrible conditions and we all deserve to get the credit tonight and enjoy a great night for our club to go top of the league.

“We are 10 points clear of fourth place, that’s some going and of course more than anything after the run we have had here it does start to get on everybody’s back.

“I have to try and deflect that and dilute that feeling and the players have played a big part in it over the last couple of days, and the staff.

“The happiness in the dressing room, that’s the sort of dressing room we want.

“It was lovely to see our players get a standing ovation from all of our supporters and I think they recognise that we all work hard and we care. We don’t always get it right but if you pay your money you want to know your manager, your players, coaches and training staff are giving everything they’ve got.

“We work all hours under the sun and we believe in our players so to see them at the end of the night tonight after a run of not winning at home was great.

“It wasn’t easy for the supporters, the ball was out of play a lot, there were lots of free kicks and misplaced passes and it needed a team effort to wait for the breaks.

“When they came there was a massive sigh of relief around the whole stadium including the dugout it must be said.

“Even on the pitch you could see anxiety, tension and nerves and they can set in at all levels of sport.

“It’s a very good win for our supporters, players and everyone involved within our club.

“We’ve been averaging two points a game recently; we’ve all worked hard to turn it round so to hear everyone sing at the end was a great feeling.”

Despite the fact recent run of results haven’t gone the way the side would have wanted, Martin said he has always had confidence in the players and the management have worked hard to find ways of breaking down the opposition.

He said: “These are games of football; I know how important it is in people’s lives that support Gillingham Football Club but we’ve just had two fantastic away wins at Southend and Bristol Rovers.

“They are both in top form so when people talk about crisis I don’t buy in to all of that. I don’t go from popping pills to popping champagne. You do your job, get on with it, it was a good point on Saturday with a good second half performance.

“We could have done better in the first half – the first 20 minutes against Port Vale we were slow to get going but again in the second half we played really, really well. We had three cleared off the line so we due just a bit of luck and the credit has to go to the players.

“It’s difficult sometimes when you’re playing in front of your own fans, especially being top for four and a half months and teams raise their game to play against you.

“Most teams now play 4-5-1 with the wingers tracking our full backs with a holding midfield player in front of your back players playing deep and it’s a different challenge.

“As coaching staff, a management team and players we have had to work out how we are going to get through it – we have to be patient and calm and if errors are made in possession then we can’t get on people’s backs because it builds tension and it makes nervy players.

“They are human beings, not machines.

“Our young players haven’t experienced anything like this before, they’ve been at the top of the league for nearly five months so for some of them it’s a tough task to get used to it and teams now come here with a different attitude.

“That was the form team in the division and you could see how dangerous they were in the first half. They are very well organised, have some good players and are a good team.

“Once we went ahead we played Deon Burton a bit deeper and pushed Weston a bit higher so we still had an attacking threat on the left side with his pace.”


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