Gaffer at the Weekend

Gills boss delivers his usual Sunday round-up.

Q: You said after the game yesterday that the first half performance at Doncaster wasn't up to the standards you have set. You said you had a few words at half time; did you at least get the response you asked for?


A1: The first half performance was as abject as we could get.

It was hard to look at this first half and measure it versus our performance at Bristol Rovers recently, it was ten of the same starting players.

The response in the main in the second half was excellent, but a match is won or lost over ninety minutes.


Q: Doncaster is always a tricky place to go but, having drawn level, were you confident of getting a result?


A2: There is no doubt we started the second half by far the better team and it was the least we deserved when we scored.

To lose a goal within a couple of minutes straight after was disappointing and came from a counter attack as we tried to create again on the edge of our opponent’s penalty box.

We gave it a real go thereafter to equalise but after that first half it was always going to be like climbing a mountain in your training shoes!


Q: What was your main message to the squad at full-time? Do you quickly shift focus to the next game or do you more reflect on the half you've just played?


A3: The message, as always, was one of honesty!

The first half that we produced was totally unacceptable.

We will move on to prepare for another tough challenge on Tuesday when we face high flying Accrington.


Q: Does it help having another game so soon?


A4: The honest answer is yes because we had a number of players hurting yesterday as we left South Yorkshire.

We must move on and prepare accordingly.


Q: Accrington are in outstanding form this season and have already taken the scalps of many of the league’s big clubs. From what you know of them, what type of game are you expecting?


A5: This will be a really tough encounter. Accrington are a quality team with good players and, as you say, have started the season impressively.


Q: You hinted you already know your XI for Tuesday. Will that change at all if Jordan Graham or Jacob Mellis are fit to start?


A6: Jacob will need more training and match minutes to get up to speed but should be available. Jordan, we will see how he is on the grass tomorrow, but if there’s any doubt then he’s out.


Q: The January window is around the corner. How close are you to potentially securing a signature or two?


A7: Talks are at a very early stage but there is clarity in our minds in relation to what positions we need to strengthen.

We have a lot of good players here but we need to help them so we will work hard within the financial restraints we have, but I know now we will be stronger in the second half of the season.

All our focus is on Accrington, nothing else matters and that challenge is indeed a tough one.