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Raynor | "We won't get carried away"

Gills assistant boss says the squad cannot lose focus as the business end of the season draws near.

8 March 2021

Paul Raynor says the team is high on confidence going into Tuesday's game at Fleetwood.

When questioned on Gillingham’s forthcoming trio of potentially tricky away fixtures, Paul Raynor did not hesitate with his response: “Bring them on,” he said. “We are full of confidence.”

The Gills have plundered six goals in their previous two games, winning both, and deserved more after dominating in the second half at Fratton Park in their 1-1 draw with Portsmouth. The recent accumulation of points has seen the Gills slowly inch themselves up the league standings and there’s a real feel-good factor around ME7 right now.

There’s no let-up in the busy schedule however; over the next eight days the Kent side will travel to Fleetwood, Swindon and Lincoln, where Raynor is eager to keep their unbeaten run rolling.

Speaking with the local press via Zoom after Saturday’s impressive 3-1 demolition of Ipswich, Gills assistant manager previewed the first of their three away games, Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night.

Raynor said: “We have to make sure we don’t get carried away and we keep doing the right things that have given us the recent results. It will be a tough game but we will go there in good confidence. Fleetwood are a very good side, we are well aware of that. Simon Grayson has gone in there and done an extremely good job. We know the threats that they pose.

“We are providing intensity with and without the ball now. We are a goal threat. We are looking solid and are stopping teams from playing their normal games. We’re enjoying the way we are playing. We will keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away. The games are coming thick and fast; we have to focus on what’s coming next. We have to be ready for Fleetwood.”

Gillingham appear to have found a recipe for success after a season of indifferent results. One of the key ingredients is influential hit man Vadaine Oliver, and Raynor admits he would not have fancied his chances against him back in his own playing days. Big V, as he is affectionately known, is striking a rich vein of form and already has 12 goals to his name this season.

Raynor said: “We had known about him for many years and have always identified him as a real problem to deal with. He had a fantastic season with Northampton last year and we kept him on the radar. We knew he had more to offer; he is not just a big target man who wins his headers but he is quick as well and for a big man he has a turn of pace. We have worked hard on his finishing, he drives us crackers every day on the training ground wanting to do more. That is a credit to him and he is chipping in with some valuable goals as well as being that physical focal point.

“He is one of the signings of the season and a great lad. He’s eager to work and learn and is enjoying himself. If I’m a centre-half and I’m playing Gillingham, I know I am in for a tough afternoon. He is becoming a real goal threat. I wouldn’t want to play against him.”

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