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15 January 2013

Gills keeper says there is no need for panic....

Stuart Nelson says everybody at the club should remain calm and upbeat despite the 2-1 defeat to Port Vale at the weekend.

The Valiants are now top of the league by a single point with the Gills dropping to second, but the goalkeeper says there is no need to become negative and believed the performance was good enough to have got something from the game.

He said: “We go out to win every game and with the top of the table clash as it was you want to be winning it, but it wasn’t to be.

“I don’t think we were that bad, they didn’t carve us open. They had two opportunities and they scored them but there are plenty of positives to take from the game, but the result wasn’t exactly what we wanted.

“Tom Pope is a dangerous player and we didn’t deal with him as well as we did for the rest of the game. If you give good players the opportunity they will punish you – maybe in other games where other teams haven’t been going as well as Port Vale they haven’t taken those chances we have given them.

“If you give Lee Hughes and Tom Pope chances they will take them and that’s what they did.

“We dealt with them and that’s the positive thing but we ended up losing the game 2-1 so if you don’t take your chances at one end and you’re not tight enough at the other it ends up with a loss, and that’s ultimately what it was.”

The game was billed up as one of the biggest of the season for the club, but Nelson said to him it was the same as any other.

He said: “It was no different to any other game for us, you [the media] might have been billing it up but we weren’t. We were just getting on with it and we go out to win every game whether it be a team at the bottom or at the top.

“Yes it was a big game but we still have a game in hand and, on paper, if we win it we’ll go back above them. It’s not a massive loss; it may have been built up as the game of the season because it was two good teams going in to battle.

“It’s how we bounce back, we can’t affect those three points now. They’re gone so there’s no point worrying about them, we’re in a great position, we’ve got ourselves in this position and no-one is panicking downstairs.

“We don’t over celebrate when we win and we don’t hang ourselves when we don’t. That’s been the message all season, we have had setbacks but we have always bounced back.

“We need to score more goals than what we let in as that is what we’ve been doing all season and get back to clean sheets. That’s been our strength in being hard to beat, whoever the gaffer picks they are raring to go.

“We are gutted we haven’t won the game but in the bigger picture it’s not the end of the world.

“We’ve just said we’ve got to get back to it. You won’t win every game of the season and obviously how it’s panned out it’s been two away wins and a loss but we know what we have to do, we know our jobs.

“We will get back on the training pitch and practice which is what we have been doing all season. We will work hard and put it right.

“This isn’t a problem, Port Vale are a good side and we are both pulling away so it was always going to be two good teams. Next week we start again, we have a good four days training before getting on the coach to Rochdale before putting on a good performance up there.”

Stuart was asked how the two new signings, Steven Gregory and Leon Legge, have settled in. The keeper said he hasn’t been surprised that the new centre-back has started well.

He added: “We’ve rotated a lot and never really settled with the Captain with someone who can take the bull by the horns and Leon has done that. The three games he has played in he’s been different class and he’s got a great partnership with Adam and they’re working well together.

“It was no surprise the way he played considering what I’ve seen of him since he’s been here.”

Finally Nelson responded to the possibility that bigger crowds have had an impact on how the side have been playing at home, but the 31-year-old says for him it’s a huge incentive.

He said: “For me it’s just another game, that’s how I look at it and I don’t read the press and I don’t need to feel wrapped up in it as a player. I just go out and try to do my job; I can’t speak on behalf of other players regarding that subject.

“I enjoy playing in front of a big crowd because ultimately I want to play as high as I can and I want to go up with this club and kick on. The more people that come to the stadium is perfect for me, I want to see a full stadium and I want to play in winning games.

“It’s not a problem for me, I love every minute.”

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