Gaffer at the Weekend

A few thoughts from the Gaffer.

Q: Another win at home, three points in the bag against MK Dons, what pleased you most yesterday?

A1: As we spoke of earlier in the week, it would set us up nicely for the festive period if we could get the three points on offer. 

The performance for large parts of the match was excellent as the lads played with great energy levels, passion, and a great degree of skill on what was a difficult playing surface.

The lads are looking really focussed as each and every challenge comes along.

Q: Two quick goals put us firmly in the driving seat. Brandon and Mika certainly seem to be developing an understanding in attack?

A2: The two boys mentioned are in good form, both now finding the net regularly and, as importantly, working so hard for the team.

At The Gills we can achieve nothing unless everyone on and off the pitch works tirelessly and with no fear or trepidation as they go about their work.

Q: We conceded early in the second half, albeit there was an element of good fortune on their part. How important was it to quickly re-establish our two goal cushion?

A3: It was disappointing to concede that goal and there is no doubt the player carried some luck but at the same time he must take credit for such a good finish.

We quickly restored our two goal advantage with a well rehearsed training ground routine so that in itself is very pleasing for all the coaching staff.

I must also add that Max Ehmer made a difficult finish on a very difficult surface look so easy.

Q: Max got the third of course. You mentioned it was a training ground routine. Their keeper made a fine save but great work from Max to be alert to the second ball?

A4: As I stated earlier it was an excellent finish from a man who is doing a fine job as our captain this season.

Very often Max and myself will sit down and chat about a vast number of topics and at the same time discuss the plans for the team and the planning that goes into the days and weeks ahead of us throughout the season.

Q: We could easily have scored a couple more. Brandon Hanlan, once again, causing problems until the very end?

A5: After we had restored our two goal advantage I really did believe that we could a few goals to our tally.  Time after time we got ourselves into some great attacking positions but sadly it was one of those days that none of those opportunities favoured us.

When we have almost total dominance like we had for long spells yesterday it is a pleasure to watch the lads play, especially given how young our team is in the main.

Q: Our home form must certainly please you as we head into the second part of the season?

A6: Success in the league is always about points accumulation both home and away, but the large majority of any clubs football supporters watch when you play at home.

Every player and manager is very fortunate to represent Gillingham Football Club at MEMS Priestfield Stadium and that is mainly down to our supporters.

I am very fortunate that in my career as a manager I have managed a number of football clubs who have absolutely magical fans and I categorically place the Gills in this category.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf the players, staff and myself to THANK YOU for such passionate and wonderful support.

Q: How do you approach recovery/training during this busy festive period?

A7: Principally the recovery in the main is down to our outstanding fitness coach, James Russell, assisted by Paul Raynor and Simon Royce.

James and myself often sit down and discuss and agree the recovery plans and he ensures they are executed in a very timely and professional manner, but we all acknowledge there is a big year coming with so much football taking place over the festive period.

Q: We have entered the top half of the table; we are five points shy of the top six. What are the key attributes that the team need to show during the next few weeks?

A8: We have three very important league fixtures before we turn into the new decade, 2020.  Ipswich Town at Portman Road followed by Rochdale and Portsmouth here at Priestfield will all provide very different, but equally stern, challenges. My objective for the team has to be for us to be within six points of the play-off group because I really do know we will very much be stronger in the second half of the season.

The players staff and myself must all continue to work so hard as we aim to deliver a number of highs for our supporters in 2020.