Gaffer at the Weekend

The Gills boss reflects on Saturday's game at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Q: Reflecting on yesterday's game, was a draw fair?

A1: Yes I think so. It was certainly a game of two halves with clear cut chances at a premium.

Oxford had two clear chances and converted one whilst we had two clear chances and didn't convert, with our goal coming from a definite penalty.

Our second half performance was the opposite of the first half, we played more like ourselves, good quality on the ball, pressed high, won our battles and dominated for long spells including the last ten minutes where we did everything but get the winner.

Q: You said on Thursday it would take a season's best performance to win; the second half was certainly up there with our best halves of Football this season?

A2: The boys got back to playing our way, it has got them some great results.

This young group are winners, full of desire and quality and those attributes allowed us to dominate a team who I think can, or will, win promotion. They have big resources, but in fairness they have been spent very wisely.

Q: Their goal was a good finish but that aside our defence dug in and made things very difficult?

A3: A great finish from a very talented young man. The disappointing aspect is that we briefed our players on his strengths and we should make it more difficult for sure.

Our boys always give everything, they are a credit.

Q: At the other end Jordan Roberts made his home debut. What do you make of the current partnership between him and Brandon?

A4: Jordan is a talented young man. He worked very hard yesterday and he knows that's the minimum accepted here, but I really do believe he has a good part to play.

He will play better than yesterday as his match minutes improve, but he is keen to impress.

Q: Our unbeaten run in the league is now eight games. We have two fixtures before a mini break. How important will it be to remain in the mix prior to that fixture gap?

A5: Our unbeaten run is admirable, but there is a few games in this run that we should have won rather than drawn.

The two matches before our break are really tough. Rochdale are a decent team and their draw with Newcastle United recently demonstrates that, and Shrewsbury beat Championship Bristol City in midweek, really difficult matches, but the rewards for a decent points return are obvious.

Q: The table is very congested as teams find some form and those who were in good form slip away a touch. Ideally do you stay within four or five points of that top six chase for as long as possible?

A6: It is important for us to stay in the pack fighting for the play-offs and this morning we are definitely that.

The progress this season versus last season for us is remarkable and that credit goes to my staff and players who work so hard every day. We must continue to work hard and keep focused.

Q: Rochdale are next for us at Spotland. Talk us through the plans for the week ahead and when you intend to make your way to the game?

A7: The lads will be on the training ground and we will set up a game plan for a difficult fixture.

Hopefully we can get a game organised for the lads needing match minutes.

We will travel north early on Friday and use the facilities of a Premier League Club to train en-route north. It's massively important we prepare properly, and we certainly will.

Q: Finally, the transfer window remains open for another 12 days. Are you confident you will add to the squad further? Above all I guess you will only be doing so if they are the right characters and fit into the team dynamic?

A8: As I said it is important that we add some quality to the squad, but massively important we add the right players who can help us and play a part.

The key people involved, from our Chairman down, are working very hard for this to happen but I will not sign a player for the sake of it or indeed pay over the odds, that is a recipe for disaster.

Value for money is key.