Samuel previews Exeter visit

Dominic Samuel says the squad need to be on their game for the visit of Exeter, who are flying high in Sky Bet League 2.

Striker Dominic Samuel says he believes in the magic of the FA Cup and is dreaming of an away trip to Stamford Bridge, but he won’t be taking the challenge of Exeter City lightly. It’s impossible to avoid the cup clichés of ‘potential banana skins,’ ‘giant-killers’ and ‘cup shocks,’ but there is no question that the Grecians will present a tough test for Steve Evans’ players.

Free-scoring Exeter were rampant in their previous 6-1 demolition of Colchester and are currently enjoying an unbeaten away run in Sky Bet League Two, meaning that Samuel and his team mates will need to dig out another big performance to reach the third round.

Samuel spoke to the media ahead of the clash, saying: “Any team that is in this cup competition at the moment will not make it easy. We have to take it like we are playing a top team in our league. If we go with that mind-set, then we can make the next round. I think with the players we have got, we can hurt teams, no matter who they are.

“There is never an easy game in the FA Cup. We would like to go far in this cup. Anything can happen.

“I’m a Chelsea supporter, so a trip to Stamford Bridge would definitely be on my wish list. I’d like to go there and win, but you have to focus on the next game. The furthest I have got to is the fourth round, so hopefully this time round we can go further than that.”

With the recent resurgence in Gills results and Jordan Graham firing on all cylinders, Samuel believes the Kent side will have every opportunity of making it to the third round for that potential glamour draw.

He said: “The confidence is high around the camp at the moment. Previously, even though we hadn’t been winning, our performances were high. It’s always been in our minds that even though we haven’t been picking up as many points as we have wanted, our performances were still there. We are working hard and it is starting to pay off.

“Jordan has been terrific this year; the stats speak for themselves. As soon as he gets on the ball you know he’s going to put it in the box and you know nine times out of ten it’s going to get to one of our players. When you have a player like that in your team, you need to make sure you are in the right place at the right time so there are no excuses when he puts that ball in the middle of the box.

“As a striker you just want to keep scoring and scoring, no matter if it is a cup game or a league game. I’m finding a rhythm so I can take that into Saturday.

“I feel like I have settled in pretty quickly. They boys have welcomed me and so has the coaching staff and manager. They’ve welcomed me like one big family and it is starting to show on the pitch.”

The family is not quite complete at the moment however, with fans having to follow their side from the comfort of their homes. The notoriously loud Gillingham support will need to be patient after the Government announced that Kent will be in Tier 3 due to concern about the current COVID infection rate, but Samuel had a message for them.

“We spoke about this today and it is a shame that we are in Tier Three, but it is safety first. If it keeps people safe then it has to be done. Hopefully things can change soon and the fans can start coming in. Fans make a massive difference when things are not going your way.

“I would like to say that we are missing the support from you guys and hopefully you can come back in and support us soon, but it’s important to stay safe and look after yourselves.”