Jordan Graham says the Gills squad remains very positive ahead of tough run.
Gills winger Jordan Graham has enjoyed an explosive start to the season and his jinking runs, close control, dangerous crosses and coolness in front of goal have had fans at home on the edge of their armchairs.
The tricky midfielder is currently top scorer at the club, chipping in with four goals, and says he is confident the Gills can shake off recent defeats against MK Dons and Portsmouth with a positive performance this Saturday.
The former Aston Villa, Wolves and Ipswich player faced the media in a positive mood before the Sky Bet League One fixture with Fleetwood.
On back-to-back defeats
“We have to just keep positive. I’ve been saying to the boys that it is only two games which we have lost. There are plenty of games left this season and we started really well. There were some good moments in the Portsmouth game. Against MK Dons we were poor, but I think we played some good stuff on Tuesday. Personally, I was disappointed with my own performance against MK Dons and I tried to put that right against Portsmouth, and I felt I was miles better.
“We couldn’t seem to get that goal, but if we had it would have changed things. Tomorrow is a good chance to put in a good collective performance.
“The two games are gone. If we can win tomorrow we will be back up to sixth or seventh and all of a sudden those two games are forgotten. Tomorrow is massive for us because we do not want to be losing three in a row.”
“It’s hard to know what to expect. I’ve played against Fleetwood a couple of times. They move the ball really well on the floor. Sometimes they can be a bit more direct and physical. It’s hard to guess what Fleetwood will do. We’ll speak to Kyle Dempsey to give us as much information on them as he can but I think we just have to worry about ourselves.
“We want to be up there at the end of the season. We need to be taking points off the top teams and Fleetwood are a good team. They have an experienced manager and they know what they are doing. They are not going to be an easy opponent for us on Saturday but these games are important. We need to take points off as many decent sides as we can.
“They have some good players there. They had a decent finish to last season and they have made some decent additions. They had a good little play-off run; they are a good side and we are fully prepared for that. We know as a group what they can do. We know the quality they have and how they can hurt us. We are going to work in training on nullifying what they have and then on match day it’s going to be down to our players to do it. I’m positive and our group is really positive. It’s a good time to put those two games behind us.
“When we are ‘at it’ it doesn’t really matter who we are playing. We need to make sure we are prepared for whatever they throw at us. If we perform individually to the levels we know we can then we will be hard to beat. It will be a tough match for Fleetwood.”
“I’ve started well and have been getting a fair few chances. I haven’t had too many in the last couple of games except for the chance against Portsmouth… but they will come. Target-wise, I just want to be in the positions to score and assist, that is it really. The more I can get, the better for myself and the team. I just want to keep doing what I am doing and hopefully they will keep coming.”
Going close against Portsmouth
“My chance went very close but it doesn’t really matter how close it was. I was frustrated with myself because I don’t think I needed to put it that wide. I tried to be a little bit too cute with it.
“I feel like if I get a chance I won’t miss. I believe in myself and hopefully if a chance comes tomorrow I will put this one away.”
“I’m loving this season because I have so much to learn from the game. I haven’t played as many games as I have wanted to at this point in my career for different reasons. I try and give what I have learnt to younger players, whilst taking on things from older pros who have more knowledge of the game then me.
“I’m really enjoying the football this season. I’ve got more responsibility in this group because I’m not one of the younger ones, which I normally have been in the past.
“I feel like a lot of the younger ones do look up to me because I have played at a high level and have been in the game for eight or nine years now. They ask questions and I try and give the best advice I can give and help them where I can off the pitch.”
“It’s going to happen. It’s something I’ve had before at Wolves in the Championship. I just have to find ways to get the ball and hurt teams. If I am marked then there are other players that are free. If there are two players on me then a teammate is free, so I have to think ‘can I get the ball to them as quickly as I can?’ For me, it is just about trying to find the best solution to the team that we are playing on the day. The boys know that I can help the team in a positive way.”
“Steve Evans is very positive with us. He knows we have got quite a young team; they just need constant advice, positivity and energy. We have a young hungry team. Trust me, those two defeats hurt us. The gaffer keeps telling us to do what we know we can do and we will be up there at the end of the season.
“The gaffer knows that we are okay. We’ve got good pros who keep the group humble and their feet on the ground. We believe that more good performances will bring good results for us.”