The Gills manager reflects on Saturday's opening-day victory against Southend United

Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh spoke to the press following Saturday’s brilliant 3-1 opening day victory over Southend United at Roots Hall.

Having trailed through Stephen McLaughlin’s opener, goals from debutant Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Max Ehmer and Emmanuel Osadebe earned the Gills a fine opening-day victory.

Edinburgh on…the performance: “I’m immensely pleased with the performance. It was a frantic first 25 minutes, and Southend were a threat. But from conceding the goal we came alive. Once we scored, we were the team that looked like going on and winning the game.

“Second half the players found another level. I thought we looked a real powerful squad.

“The crowd go home knowing what performance they can expect this season: commitment, trust, intensity and work rate.”

Edinburgh on…Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’s debut: “He came in the building yesterday; the chairman and I worked tirelessly over the past two weeks to secure his signature. From getting him in, he lifted the group immediately, which was needed. 

“It had ben a tricky pre-season, not so much performances but the injuries and a slight hangover from last year. He trained yesterday, and there was no doubt that he wouldn’t play. His first performance in that shirt was a good one. 

“His goal was off the training ground, so credit to first-team coach Wayne Hatswell, who implemented that this week. When they come off, they’re special goals. Credit to the group and Jay for learning it so quickly.”

Edinburgh on…Luke Norris joining Swindon Town: “I want to go on record in wishing Luke all the best. I felt it was time for him to move on and change the personnel in the club.”

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