Gills Manager says things need to be improved...
Martin Allen says the management will work closely with the players as they look for ways in which to improve in the second half of the season.
The Gills won their first two games of the New Year away from home before suffering defeat to Port Vale at the weekend, and although the Manager was delighted with the second half performance, he believes the team needs to improve.
He said: “I thought the players gave a good account of themselves, there is definitely room for improvement.
“We have played a few games and not managed to get a win [at home] so there are areas for us to look at on the back of two very good solid performances away from home to get six points at Southend and Bristol Rovers.
“We highlight the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses – Tom Pope is a danger with those diagonal balls to the back post and we are aware of his goal scoring record and he is a threat but we were not able to defend it and from 2-0 down it’s a tough call.
“It’s hard for the players to actually come back and play because they could hide or go under but thankfully they came back and gave everything they had got. A brilliant goal from Danny Kedwell set it up and I thoroughly expected us to win in the second half to be honest.
“We had numerous chances with the melee right at the end when it was cleared off the line twice from where I was stood but it wasn’t to be. We have said that a few times now so we need to look at it and try to improve it.
“We need to work out why and work out how we can do better in front of our fans.
“We work together with the players, we will chat to them and work it out with the players and between us all we will decide how we want to move forward.”
Martin said he and the players were very much hoping to extend their lead at the top of npower League Two at the weekend, but said going two goals down early on presented an uphill battle.
He added: “Let’s not kid ourselves we were looking to go five points clear with a game in hand and I was fully expecting at five to five that we were going to walk along the touchline, see the players get a standing ovation with the fans signing `we are top of the league.`
“That’s what we were hoping for, the players aswell, but it didn’t happen. You have to take it off the chin and deal with it. I thought it was a much better performance than when we played Barnet and quite a few people were quite critical.
“I believe Barnet won away at Rotherham at the weekend and I said at the time they were a good team and people thought I was making excuses, but they are a decent side.
“Port Vale are a decent team, they have some dangerous centre forwards but in the second half I thought we were absolutely fantastic. However we cannot afford to be giving away two goal starts to other teams.
“The bottom line is we don’t want to be conceding goals here, the goals that have gone against us have been too easy and we have some work to do.
“Going 2-0 down is tough on your home patch – we don’t want to give goals away and you can’t if you want to be at the top and up to now our record has been fantastic and in the last two games we have conceded nothing and no-one has had a shot against us apart from one that hit the post [in the first half against Rovers].
“Everything else has been long distance and I have work to do but the players, trust me, hurt more than anybody and they knew what the reward was. I thought the crowd reacted well to the players and were receptive to the effort and commitment.
“We could have had better quality in the second half – the chances came, they didn’t quite go in but let’s not hide behind the fence.
“You need to stand up and be counted, take it on the chin, learn from it and we’ve got to improve.”
As for potential signings Martin said he will not add to his squad if he believes the incoming player is not better than what he already has.
He said: “I don’t want to speculate with potential signings. We are in talks; we are chatting and looking at opportunities and potential signings all the time.
“If we sign someone we sign someone and the first time I will talk about that is if they sign for us. I have chatted to a lot of agents and clubs about potential signings but they need to be better than what we have got, and what we’ve got is good.
“It has to be done for the right reasons and we have good players anyway so it’s a fine line.”
Finally the Gills Manager praised the discipline of his players and revealed it is something the management have worked on from day one, and said the general attitude of his squad has been terrific.
He said: “We have worked on that from day one in pre-season at the training ground and when we go away from home. They all work hard to try and make themselves individually better and we work hard to be better as a team.
“They all recognise that discipline, conduct and how you behave is all part of how to be successful. A few of our young lads have been sent off for over exuberant challenges I would say but not nasty.
“There have been very few dissents to the referee and they are an absolute pleasure to work with and are a pleasure to be with as people.
“We have no bad apples, they work hard together and support each other and I’m very proud of how they have conducted themselves on the football pitch. That’s how we want it to be.”