Martin Allen praises players and staff after hard fought win over MK Dons at Priestfield
Martin Allen said his players deserved huge credit for their second half display after MK Dons had drawn level with just ten men.
Former Gills loanee Tom Flanagan was dismissed early on for a foul on Cody McDonald for the home side’s second spot kick, having also conceded the first which Danny Kedwell blasted beyond David Martin.
The striker converted the second in similar fashion, leaving the visitors to battle it out for the remainder of the game a man down.
Patrick Bamford, on loan from Chelsea, struck twice before the break only to see Danny Hollands fire the Gills back in front on the hour mark with a great header following Michael Harriman’s pin point cross.
Martin was delighted with the effort of his players and said after the game:
“You have to give a lot of credit to our players and staff.
“It was a strange situation being 2-0 up after 12 minutes playing against ten men. Everybody that has watched Football over the years has seen these tricky, difficult times.
“The opposition with ten men seem to play better and step up their game. Psychologically, I don’t know why, but people drop off but MK Dons play good football and that team has been together for a good few years and it was always going to be a difficult fixture even though it was against ten men and being 2-0 up.
“When they got back to 2-2 at half time I made a conscious decision to chat to the players and ask them what they were going to do.
“It’s tricky and testing mentally. Are you going to make something happen to win it or sit back and hope we can hang on for 2-2?
“God bless them, from the work in training and the preparation, they stepped up a gear, we had numerous chances to have won by more and I thought the players were truly immense.
“Every supporter of Gillingham in that ground at half time was worried; they were concerned and probably scared with what we were facing in the second half.
“They have some very talented players and the boy Bamford up front, what a player he is.
“We were either going to go out and hope, or from what we have been doing in training, we find extra and do more. That’s what we have been doing and that showed in abundance.”
Watch Martin’s interview in full on Gills Player.