Martin hoping for strong performance in front of home fans
Martin Allen says his players need to do themselves justice by putting in a positive performance on their home patch when Plymouth Argyle visit MEMS Priestfield on Saturday.
The Gills have taken seven points from a possible 18 from their home fixtures so far in 2013, but Martin says it’s the same situation for all top teams at the top of each division and is hopeful his players can give the fans something to shout about.
He said: “This is about Gillingham and us playing well and putting in a good performance at home on our patch and doing ourselves justice.
“We have had chances in the games we have had here to go ahead and not taken them. We’ve got to maintain that belief and confidence through the 95 minutes and we’ve got to drill that in to our players and get the best out of them.
“It’s difficult for our supporters, they don’t want to come and see us lose here 1-0, especially when they expect us to win but it is the same in all the other divisions.
“The teams at the bottom – Bristol Rovers won 2-0 during the week, Barnet are winning games and Wimbledon are getting results too.
“It’s different when you’re at the bottom to when you are at the top; I normally get given jobs when it looks like clubs are going to get relegated.
“I love those teams at the bottom and managing those clubs because you are always fighting to take it off people at the top and prove you are better than they are.
“That’s the challenge we face, we’ve got it, they want it and we need to protect it and stay on top of it.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to these players because they have done fantastically well. The other clubs at the top of our division are going through what we are all going through and it’s the same across the board.
“It’s important not to get too sad and it’s important not to jump for joy – let’s concentrate, do our jobs and be specific to what we have got to do, and the people that can deal with it the best will be the ones that come out on top, and that will be us.”
Martin admitted that being top of the league is a new experience for him, but says he is loving every minute and gave credit to his players for putting in such consistent high efforts.
He said: “I love it – when I flicked on the teletext in the old days I’m always looking to see how many points it is before you get above that line so the clubs I’m at don’t get relegated – I get employed by clubs to save them from getting relegated.
“And we always stay up, always. We never go down, apart from one where I had a disaster at. Am I enjoying it? I love it. I absolutely love it.
“It hurts obviously when our players get a lot of criticism when they lose at home. That hurts me because I know how hard the players try and work. If they were flash and they didn’t care or train or didn’t do their jobs then I wouldn’t be happy.
“They do their best, they care, and in the dressing room after the game they hurt. I don’t like that, I want our lads to do well in front of our supporters, so that’s the only bit that hurts me but it’s my job to lift the players back up and get them going again.”
Watch Martin's press conference from earlier in the week by clicking here.