Gills full-back previews Bolton's visit to ME7.
Gillingham defender Ryan Jackson says he is relishing life under new manager Neil Harris who continues to blow away the dark clouds that were hanging over MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
The Gills have narrowed the gap to safety and are now only three points away from climbing out of the drop zone, making Saturday’s clash with The Trotters a key game in their bid for survival.
Jackson, who is confident that the club will be playing Sky Bet League One football next season, sat down with the local press to discuss tactics, the weekend’s fixture with Bolton and lining up against his former teammate and captain, Kyle Dempsey.
Getting back into the starting 11
I’ve been working hard in training. Every time I came off the bench, I tried to help the team. It’s all about putting in a good performance.
I am easily well managed. It’s all about trying to get your head down. The manager has decisions to make and the main thing is that I just keep working hard and try and force my way in.
Moving from the back four to a wing-back formation has been a nice change. We look more solid. My personal preference is that I like playing wing-back. It allows me to get higher up the pitch and join the attack.
We still want to go out and attack and win but we need to realise where we were in the league and that we were leaking goals. The main thing was trying to stop that, then working on scoring. It’s all about trying to get that balance. We are doing really well in learning what Neil Harris wants us to do. I am a defender, so first and foremost, it’s all about stopping goals going against you. Keeping clean sheets and scoring goals is a recipe for winning games.
You can see that he is a quality player with bags of potential. He is starting to show what he is capable of. We have seen glimpses of him shooting outside of the box in training and he has a great strike on him. We saw that with his fantastic goal against Lincoln.
Bolton on Saturday
They are a good team and have a number of good players so it is all about how we can nullify that and impose our game on them. They are always going to pick up points and score a lot of goals. We have to make sure that we are on it on Saturday. We will have our methods and ways of how we are going to go and attack them. If they come and attack us it will leave gaps and holes.
The return of Kyle Dempsey
It will be nice to see him because we are all good friends. It will great to say hello, but the focus for us is to try and get a win and get some more points. He’s a good player and a good dribbler and he’s got an eye for goal as well; he will definitely be a threat. He was great for us and led the line well. Hopefully the fans will give him a warm welcome.
The fans are going to be massive for us. They have stuck by us through the tough times so we have to say a big thank you.
Being in this position will bring the best out in you. Nobody wants to lose and nobody wants to go down. It’s all about working hard and trying to get points on the board.