Gills Manager says players deserve strong welcome....
Martin Allen says his players will deserve the reception they get today because of the hard work they have put in so far this season.
He said: “The players have earnt that through their hard work and dedication and each player’s support for each other. People that are playing, people who are not playing and the respect they have got for their team-mates and the staff.
“That has been built up over the six or seven months and that’s what makes it so special, we are a new kind of group. Who would have expected us to be top of the league for virtually the whole season? It’s kind of crazy.
"When I come out of the tunnel personally and have to walk along the edge of the pitch it’s amazing. All those people making all those noise, you can just feel the support.
“It’s a funny feeling, it’s weird but I like to keep my head down and walk forward. Its special, of course it is.”
Regarding the seven players made available for transfer, Martin says there has been interest from other clubs for their services.
He said: “The lads I have let go are good players, it’s so difficult letting young players go and I really do hope some of them go on to have good football careers.
“I have to make decisions with the help of my senior staff about how we are going to move it forward and I do find it difficult. I don’t enjoy sitting across a table letting a 19-year old know he won’t be getting a new contract.
“Just as I don’t enjoy telling good professionals over 30 and have children that they can leave. It’s not a pleasure of mine and I really don’t like it but if I can help them and get them a club and get them a better contract then I can see it’s for the right reason.”
Many of them will be watching from the stands today as the Gills look to extend their lead at the top of npower League Two, and Martin says the players picked will deserve the reception they get after the efforts they have put in so far this season.
Martin said the side is as strong as it’s ever been and feels the new signings have made a difference.
He said: “We are stronger than we were, that’s no dis-respect to the other players but the two new signings we have added we are now in a better position and more capable.”