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Club News


22 September 2013

Martin wants improved performance following defeat to Bradford

Martin Allen believes the team needs to re-discover the standards and the performance levels that took them to the league title last season.

An Andrew Davies goal early in the first half in a 1-0 win for Bradford on Saturday means the Gills are still looking for their first win of the season, and Martin believes changes need to implemented and decisions made to achieve results.

He said: “I’m not looking outside of the club, I’m looking within. The principles and the values that have got us in to this division, we need to re-visit those.

“We got promoted as champions with hardworking, dedicated, honest and decent group of blokes.

"We haven’t got any incredibly outstanding talent like, perhaps, Bradford’s centre forward Nahki Wells, but it’s those values that were put in place last summer that I think we need to re-visit.

“There have been too many games when I have defended and looked after them but I need to take some action; there is no doubt about that.

“We played very well last week, we conceded from a set play and again today but we need to have a good look at it and I know they can do better.

“I don’t think they have let me down – I suppose you could say that but they’ve let the club down, they’ve let themselves and the shirt down.

“We have just had a 10-month competition where everyone to a man in a united squad did their best. If you were given the shirt you delivered.

“Don’t get me wrong, at times last year it wasn’t great. There were times in games where we hadn’t played that well but got a result.

“We need to go back to what it was that got us in to this division and deal with it.

“I need to make some decisions; I think I’ve been pretty patient and understanding. Everyone deserved a chance, everyone has had a chance.

"Some people are transfer listed for loans to see if I could try and raise some money but we’ve had no enquiries from anybody so we need to work something out with what we’ve got.

“The standards we got to last year have slipped below what is necessary. It may sound like I’m an old fashioned headmaster but I don’t care – those are the standards that got us a champions medal and I need to deal with it and get on with it.

“I think I’ve been friendly and a good Manager. I’ve been supportive and very kind – helpful hopefully and I’m sure everyone would say that but changes need to be made.”

Martin responded as to whether his side have adapted to life in a higher division.

He said: “We haven’t, no. They haven’t won enough games, that’s it and I need to do something about it. I have tried different permutations and different ways of playing.

“I’m not just talking about things on the football pitch, I’m also talking about things that happen off the pitch – making sure everyone has lunch after training, little things like that.

“Silly isn’t it? But we can deal with those quite quickly and easily. Dissent on and off the pitch is no good, we don’t win a gold medal or be champions with dissent or poor conduct – its not good enough.

 “We played last week with a very disciplined, younger and athletic team and they did a fantastic job and I was very proud of them in the Coventry game.

“Yes we defended deep but we played with tenacity, self belief, they were well organised and I made two changes and that’s my mistake.

“I am upset, yes I am. My job is to make our team play well, I don’t like it – I’ve just had a meeting with our senior staff and players.

“Every week I sit here with this nice mask on and protect my players and everybody. I go home and watch DVD’s on a Saturday night to get the best out of training individually and collectively.

“I’ve got to change it – I’m not happy, and I don’t mind losing. I can take it when you have two centre forwards like they’ve got, but I want the spirit, I want tenacity, willingness, drive, hunger and passion.

“Every supporter that has paid to watch Gillingham, apart from one game against Wolves  – every supporter has clapped our players off at the end.

“So have I, there have been little tweaks to improve but that wasn’t the case yesterday. It wasn’t good enough.

“We need strong leadership; strong guidance and we’ve got to make it better.

“I have a responsibility to the supporters, the players and to myself. I want action, I want passion, I want people marking in the right places when they are doing corners and free kicks.

“We have conceded too many goals from set plays – lack of concentration, discipline and focus and that can only come from working on the training pitch and that’s what we will do.

“They can do it, we can do it. We will do it. They have it in them, but I need to do better with my players together.”

Supporters turned out in their numbers to watch the game, and the Gills boss said his players need to give them something to shout about to ensure healthy attendances at every match.

He said: “I thought the Chairman sent out a very positive letter, it was very good communication with the supporters.

"They watched us play for 10 months and only saw us lose five games so you can imagine how frustrating it must be for them if they pay their money.

“I thought we did quite well in the second half, but not well enough.

“First half I thought we were bang average to be honest and if you expect supporters to come along, sing, clap and cheer then if you’re bang average and don’t compete you can write any letter you want but its not going to happen.

“The responsibility is the other way around – it’s our job to entertain them and to put on good performances that will get them off their seat.”

Watch Martin’s post match press conference by clicking here.

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