Gills Manager proud of how his squad have dealt with being top
Martin Allen says his players are thriving off being top of the league and praised them for sticking together even in times of adversity.
The Gills are guaranteed to be at least five points clear prior to kick-off at Fleetwood on Saturday with most other teams playing their fixtures today (Good Friday), and Martin is hoping to collect even more points as they close in on their pre-season goal.
He said: “When you are at the bottom trying to take on the teams at the top it is fantastic and of course with Fleetwood trying to get in to the play-offs and automatic promotion they have got to come out and win.
“The points is the bottom line but it’s a very fine line when you go to a place where they have to win and we just have to keep picking up points.
“If we do that we will be OK so it’s a fine line. It’s discipline, it’s concentration, it’s focus and doing what you need to do to get something out of it.
“We have different ways in which we can play, we have different formations and I have full trust in the players. We have enough players on the subs bench that can come on and change games and we have players who can go on and play in a different style.
“That’s worked over recent weeks so it’s a very fine line – playing ugly and playing football, it’s a bit of both that has to come in to it.
“I think the players are thriving on it now and I don’t think it’s a secret. There was some anxiety; some of the performances weren’t as good as what we would have liked.
“Some of the results were a bit testing, but the good thing about our players and our staff is that no-one criticised anybody.
“I am very proud of them. It’s all well and good saying you are the top of the league but you are always there to be shot at.
“Some of those nights were a bit testing – some of the players and myself got a bit of criticism which is justifiable fully, but it’s how you respond and how you come back from it.
We have kept our nerve, it hasn’t been spectacular but it was never going to be.”
Martin gave some brief team news ahead of the long journey north before revealing how excited he gets when contesting the big games.
He said: “All fit and I’ve added Josh Hare, Devante McKain and Sam Muggleton to the squad so I think we have 21 or 22 travelling up with us for the weekend.
“Easter is always pretty special. We played a team the other week who played with three up front and didn’t come back for corners.
“That’s pretty boring for me and I don’t like that. I like it at the top and I like fighting the games at the bottom and the tension and excitement in preparing your players for those games.
“We set targets privately at the start of the season and the aim is to try and hit that as quickly as possible and I’m never going to disclose that publically.
“Let’s get Saturday done; the only thing that has changed is that the players will get more food on the bus. They are all in Sunday morning and then we will pick a team ready to play Monday.”
To read what else Martin had to say to the media click here.
To watch his press conference on player click here.