Club's top scorer says the squad will continue to fight for everything in their battle to avoid the drop.
Vadaine Oliver says the Gills will be prepared to “scrap for everything” when they face Sunderland at The Stadium of Light on Saturday.
After going four points clear of the relegation zone, a resurgent Gills continue the fight to secure their Sky Bet League One status. A confident Oliver admits that a point or three on Saturday would certainly help the cause but admits it will be a tough ask.
The striker, who recently found the net for his thirtieth time in a Gills shirt, sat down with the local press to discuss his young strike partner Charlie Kelman, confidence in the camp and the importance of taking your chances, as well as previewing Saturday’s away fixture.
The rise of Charlie Kelman
“You can see behind the scenes day in and day out the amount of work that he puts in and what it means to him. It’s nice to see him reaping the rewards. Football is about opinions and I think under the last regime he just wasn’t favoured for whatever reason. The Gaffer has come in and given him an opportunity and to be fair to Charlie he has taken it with both hands.
“It is a huge positive to the team because he really does help us out. As long as he keeps scoring for us its good for us, that’s what we need. He’s helped myself and he’s helped the team with his endeavour. He’s non-stop and likes to harry defenders and he’s chipping in with goals.”
Hitting the back of the net
“It’s tough when you are a striker and you go a few games without scoring, especially when you feel you have deserved one. It was nice to get that opportunity against Accrington.
“At the minute we are not creating a bundle of chances and the gaffer has said that a few times. If you don’t take your opportunities, and there might be only one or two a game, you will come away very frustrated. Thankfully I got one in the last match.
“For myself, I want to set the standards I had last year. It’s a different squad and a different way of playing and there are not as many chances, so it is harder. Injuries have set me back a bit and a few things personally that I have had to deal with have been hard, but I’m grateful that I have been able to get to the tally of 30 over the last two seasons. Hopefully that is not the end of it.
“As a striker you have that onus that you need to be a match winner. The goals have been critical ones and if we can pull this off and stay up then I will be happy to have played a big part in that.”
Out of the drop zone
“There are a lot of people who had wrote us off and, with the way we were, that was fair. The feel and mood of the camp was doom and gloom. Neil Harris has come in and revitalised the players. He has been a real plus for us. His enthusiasm and what he demands from us on a daily basis is fantastic.
“He has managed at a very good level and it shows in terms of training sessions, video analysis and information on the opposition. We have all bought in to it and it has helped us turn that curve. Things are really good under Neil.
“You can see how together we are as a group now. We are in a great position but it’s not over as we have a very tough fixture list. It’s not done but we have put ourselves in a good position. To get into the position we are in now is credit to everyone.”
Sunderland on Saturday
“We are feeling very positive ahead of this one. They are a good team and we know what it’s like because we have been up there in front of a huge crowd before. We know it’s not going to be an easy task but everyone is positive.
“There is no fear in the group. On our day we can go against anyone. As long as we can maintain what we are doing then it will be a good day out for us. We appreciate all the supporters who will come up from Medway. It’s really important and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
“We are confident but we are not over-confident. We know we cannot just turn up and it will happen for us. We are a team who has to scrap for everything. It will be a tough ask but we are confident we can achieve it.”