Gaffer at the Weekend

Some thoughts from the Gills boss.

Q: I wanted to start with the support the team were given yesterday. Around 650 fans, backed the team from start to finish and all of them showed their appreciation at full-time?

A1: The supporters have been fantastic all season. They know at first hand the lads efforts and performances have deserved more this season. We all appreciate the support they are giving and we hope to reward them in the season ahead.

This is a new squad, we are in fact one of the youngest in League 1 and they will only improve as we go forward in the season.

Q: How pleased were you with the defensive solidity the team showed throughout the game?

A2: There was a lot of hard work on the training ground put in by the lads and the staff to get that defensive organisation produced on a match day.

There is a real togetherness in the camp and that is now beginning to come through in the performances.

Q: Jack Tucker slotted in at right-back; not his usual position but certainly didn't look out of place?

A3: I have played Jack there a number of times in training matches and of course when he played a part at Bristol Rovers earlier this season.

He must continue to work hard, do the extra that players need to do these days and he will gain his rewards.... the opposite would just be a complete waste of talent and sadly we see that all too often in today's game.

Q: Is that the most complete, team performance of the season?

A4: From a defensive point of view the answer would be yes. However we must do better when we have good possession in our opponents half.

Yesterday for example we got ourselves into great areas but for whatever reason the end product was not what it should have been but we will go back on the training ground and work hard at improving that.

Q: Going forward we had a couple of openings. We looked dangerous on the counter attack but was the only disappointment that we didn't make the most of our territory?

A5: As I said earlier that is something we will work on during this week.

You must also give credit to the Portsmouth defenders who dealt with a lot of what we had, but I know these lads have so much more to bring out the locker.

Q: What was your message to the players at full-time?

A6: I praised all the players and staff for producing such a solid display. Three of our back four are very young, Ogilvie, Tucker and O'Connor are all very young so that was especially pleasing again given the quality of our opponents and a fantastic home support.

Q: What's the plan for the week ahead?

A7: We have a closed door training ground game tomorrow so we ensure those players needing match minutes are kept up to speed.

The rest of the week will be geared towards Peterborough United, a team with top quality players and in superb form.

Q: Peterborough United will provide a stern test once more but defensively if we work as hard as we did yesterday we will be hard to break down?

A8: I cannot hide the fact that Posh are a club I love very much. I will have immediate family members in the away end, but believe me they will be buying their match tickets.

We are facing a club who have a good Chairman in Darragh MacAnthony and alongside his fellow Directors Stewart Thompson and Jason Neale they all continue to invest big money into Posh, in every area it has to be said.

They have top class players for this level who are very capable of playing at higher levels, immediately Ivan Toney, Marcus Maddison and George Boyd spring to mind, but there are others too. They also have an excellent Manager in Darren Ferguson so we will need to be at our very best to add to our points tally on what is sure to be a stern test.

We are in the middle of a very tough run of matches in League 1. Given that run includes Wycombe, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Peterborough and Rotherham then you get a sense of how difficult it is for a team with a bottom three budget. However, to date, the lads have given me everything they have and as their Manager I can ask no more. They are brilliant to work with and I enjoy every minute of the challenge we have.