Striker hoping Crewe victory can spark a run of positive results.
John Akinde, who celebrated the crucial goal which decided a tough Sky Bet League One encounter with Crewe, revealed what manager Steve Evans instructed him to do when sending him into battle for the last 30 minutes of a tense game.
Akinde scored within a few minutes of coming on, meeting a Jordan Graham cross which proved enough to seal maximum points at the Alexandra Stadium.
The match-winner said: "He told me to come on, make a difference and do what you do!”
Three minutes after stepping onto the pitch, he did make that difference. After some glue-like control and a pinpoint cross from Jordan Graham, the influential Akinde shook off his marker before powering home a thunderbolt header which Crewe keeper Will Jaaskelainen could only parry into the net. The forward expressed his delight at getting the Gills back to winning ways and is keen to keep the momentum going.
Akinde said: “I can’t remember if it was my first touch but I do remember it going in the back of the net. It’s good to get the goal. I want to keep getting into good areas and keep getting more chances and then score more goals.
“Jordan Graham is a really good player. He’s seen me and got the ball in the box and I’ve done my best to get on the end of it. That’s what we’ve got to keep doing, we have to take our chances. That’s the difference from the Crewe game compared to the previous games. If we create chances, we have to take them.
“The dressing room was buzzing; it was a massive win. We knew we had to come here and win the game because of the results in recent weeks. We got the points and that is the main thing. Now we build on them!”
Crewe certainly didn’t make life easy for the Kent side and it was bodies on the line stuff for much of the game in which on loan keeper Joe Lumley again showed his class with a string of exceptional saves.
Akinde said: “Joe has come in and been great for us on loan. He’s done what we expected from him, save the ball! He’s done well and we have really appreciated him.
“Crewe are a really good side, they kept the ball, created and moved but we expected that and set up for it. The boys and the management team worked hard and did their jobs.
“We have been playing well, so it has been frustrating not to get the results we deserve and today we weren’t as good as we have been but we come away with the result, and it is a results business.
“The morale never dropped, because we were playing well, so we knew if we kept doing what we were doing then results would change. If you work hard on the training pitch then it will show in the games. We have a great bunch of lads, with good quality players and we have always believed in ourselves.
“When you go on a run of losing games and you get that win it is a relief. It is about building on that now. It’s time to take the performances we have had in previous games and start matching that with results.
“I’m happy to score goals, that’s what I wanted to come here and do. Whenever I play football I want to score goals. Hopefully that is the first of many this season.”
Gillingham’s attention now turns to the FA Cup and Akinde is keen to see his side progress in the competition, but first up is Woking who boast the skills of former Gills-favourite Matt Jarvis.
Akinde said: “Who doesn’t like the FA Cup? We want to beat Woking and go on to the next round, that’s the plan. You can’t take anything for granted in football, they will want to come and win as well. We’ve got to perform well, work hard and try and get a result.”