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MARTIN: "WE'VE REMAINED FOCUSSED"

21 March 2013

Martin Allen expecting tough battle against Accrington Stanley

Martin Allen has warned against complacency this weekend and says playing teams at the bottom of the league will present a big challenge for his players.

Accrington Stanley visit MEMS Priestfield on Saturday 22nd in the league table with 43 points and are involved in a tight relegation battle, but Martin says they will be a dangerous threat with two former England Internationals playing up front.

He said: “They are fighting for their existence in the Football League. In the times I had at Barnet, infact with every club I have been at. I started at Reading and we had a potential relegation fight with Alan Pardew.

“I had the same at Brentford when I went there and then a couple of times at Barnet.

“They are fighting for it and we have got it, and we all know that the people who have got it are in a much better position.

“It’s like if you have food – you are happy and enjoying it and if they haven’t got it and starving they will want to come and nick it off you and you do everything you can to protect it.

“We’ve gone back to basics, we’ve stayed focussed and I think the players have done really well with that.

“We said we are going to be the ones that will be different, we worked on the training pitch and in the video room and we’ve made changes to the team. God bless them, they have done great.

“They [Accrington] have got great ability. Franny [Francis Jeffers] can score goals, you never lose those skills and James Beattie is a great footballer.

“They are dangerous players and a dangerous team. They are stuck at the bottom and it’s like a cornered tiger. They will bite, snarl and come after us and it’s up to us to stand up to it.

“It’s down to us to play our way, play our game and do what we do best.”

Martin revealed that he may be without a few players after a fiery encounter on Tuesday evening against Rochdale which saw a few members of the squad pick up knocks.

He said: “We have some injuries this weekend so people that were not playing that day have an opportunity to go out and put in a proper performance and thrive playing here at Priestfield.

“Whelpdale will have a fitness test on Friday, Dack fitness test, Weston fitness test, Charlie Lee a fitness test. Richardson has gone back, Frampton can’t play.

“We’ve got our young lads coming back. Devante is coming back from Maidenhead, Jake Hessenthaler is coming back from Tamworth and Josh Hare will be joining us so the young boys will be stepping up, fantastic.

“Bradley Dack is only 19 so we have been playing a youngster – Callum Davies is 20, Muggleton has joined in our group for training.

“We haven’t trained all of these players since we have been here just for the fun; we’ve done it because if we get injuries then we might have to play them.

“Jake has been playing in the Conference which is only a division below and Devante has been playing for Maidenhead which is just two divisions below so they are not a million miles away right now and I have no fear about playing them.”

Watch Martin’s post match press conference and activate your free 14-day Gills player trial here.

For our official match preview click here.


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