The Gills manager reflects on a fantastic night for the club.
Gills manager Justin Edinburgh spoke to the press after his side’s historic 2-1 victory over Premier League club Watford in round two of the EFL Cup at Vicarage Road on Tuesday.
Trailing through Odion Ighalo’s close-range finish, Mark Byrne struck from distance to take the game into extra time. Substitute Bradley Dack sealed the memorable win, finishing from Emmanuel Osadebe's cross to give the Gills their first victory over a top division team since 2005.
Edinburgh on…the result: “Everybody connected with the club will be proud tonight. The players, all the staff, the chairman, the fans, it’s a fantastic night for the club. I’m proud of the players, they were tireless. We said before we left the hotel this afternoon that we’d have to run faster, harder and longer if we were to get anything out of this game. We needed to have the desire to be better than Watford, and we did.”
Edinburgh on…the performance: “We put our bodies on the line to block and stop shots. The response to going behind was excellent. Young Elliott [List] got us on the front foot by winning the penalty; I thought we’d get back in the game then, and I wondered if Dacky’s miss would take the stuffing out of the group. But it rejuvenated them, and we only got better from there.
“There’s was no fear, there was an exuberance and will to go and play and be good players. Elliott [List] and DJ [Darren Oldaker] have been excellent in the two appearances they’ve made this week. But I think the second half performance from Emmanuel Osadebe was as good as you’ll see - he was up against a Scottish international, who gave him a tough game first half, but Paddy took him back the other way for the second half and in extra time."
Edinburgh on…the two goals: “I was right behind it [Byrne’s goal]. I’ve known him for a while, and a lot of his goals are spectacular, from outside the box. Once it left his foot, I knew it was in. It was a just reward.
“Just before extra time, I said to Dacky that something would fall for him. I told him to make sure he dispatched it, and he did that. I’m pleased for him; he’s had a frustrating start of the season, so hopefully he’ll go on from here.”
Edinburgh on…putting the Scunthorpe defeat behind us: “Following Saturday, there was a desire to respond, a determination from the players to answer the questions that had been put upon them from the manager and the staff, and collectively they’ve done that. You always look for a response, be it in performances or results, and this has restored confidence within the group, given the club good exposure, and given a fantastic evening for the players and the fans.”
Edinburgh on…Stuart Nelson: “I’m pleased for Stuart. His performance on Saturday wasn’t at his level, but the delivered the response tonight that everybody wished of him.”