Gaffer on a weekend

A few words from the Gaffer following the opening day of the new season.

Q:  Reflecting on Saturday's draw, what aspects of the performance pleased you most?

A: The most pleasing aspect was the lads are quickly learning each other's games. A couple of the lads have just arrived and it's more new players than old so that's terrific. Further, the togetherness on and off the pitch was there for all to see with it being obvious we are in this together!

Q: The first half in particular was very impressive, that must have given you a lot of positives to note and work with?

A: That is exactly how I felt immediately after the match finished. We are very much a work in progress team with a bottom six budget but at the same time I believe we can outperform the money table. The boys must want to come and work hard every day which will give us the chance for the Medway public to have a team they deserve. 

Q: The front four caused all sorts of problems. With Marshall, List and Mandron also pushing for places is that the type of selection headache you like?

A: Competition for a starting place in the team is the best challenge any player can have as they go about getting a starting shirt. Our front four did particularly well in the first half and we have good players who want one of those shirts.

We only have 18 first team players in our squad and that includes a couple of youth lads so hopefully we can add a few quality additions in the next couple of weeks, those reinforcements are needed as we try and help a great squad of players improve further.

Q: Defence put bodies on the line late on. Is a point extra satisfying knowing that Doncaster are likely to be in the mix next May?

A: I cannot predict where Donny will finish. Yes they have some very useful players but League 1 is very strong this season. We will remain focused on ourselves.

The lads had a few great blocks late on but we should have been at least three ahead at the interval. When we dominate like we did we need to punish the opposition and make the game safe.

Q: Terrific support. 618 fans travelled - when you board the team coach do you feel pleased in the sense the supporters go home with something to shout about?

A: I thought the travelling Gills fans where outstanding, before, during and after the match.

They are very passionate and I applaud them. They want and deserve much better than they have had in recent seasons and despite the financial disadvantage against most in League 1, I intend to deliver for them.

Q: It's Burton Albion next at Priestfield, how determined will the group be to start our home campaign with a win?

A: Burton Albion have an excellent Manager in Nigel Clough, a very talented group of players and, for me, will be a team competing for a playoff place.

The lads will know it will be extremely tough but they will be focused and ready. There is a real togetherness and unity in this Gills army, we need to be ready for every battle home or away!

Q: And by such time you might have a new face or two to strengthen the squad further?

A: We are really trying to get a few new additions and it will certainly help us if we can do that. Our Chairman really is working every hour possible to keep your club in good shape but at the same time help us produce a quality product on the pitch.

As I said to the lads after the match yesterday, let's all challenge each other to work smarter, working harder should not be an option as that should be taken as a given..... the alternative is unthinkable !!!