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O'Keefe | "We conducted ourselves properly"

Gills Captain hoping to put on a show for the fans against Brentford, before attempting to see off both Northampton and then AFC Fylde in the FA Cup.

7 November 2022

Midfielder hoping the Gills can get past AFC Fylde in cup replay.

Stuart O’Keefe admits that Gillingham still have a lot to do in the FA Cup after a 1-1 draw with National League North side AFC Fylde.

The Gills looked like they were heading for the second round of the cup until Coasters’ midfielder Tom Walker popped up with an 83rd minute equaliser, forcing a replay at MEMS Priestfield.

O’Keefe reflected after the game: “We have mixed feelings really. We were okay in the first half but we would have liked to have created more and got in better positions.

“In the second half we turned over the ball a bit more than we would have liked and we were under pressure. It was always going to be difficult away from home. We could have done better so we were disappointed.

“The FA Cup is known for this. People want the banana skins, they want Non-League teams to get as far they can in the competition. You have to respect the opponents and respect the competition for what it is. We conducted ourselves properly and with the right mentality. It comes down to taking care of the ball in the second half; we let ourselves down.

“We are still in the hat for the second round. We would have obviously liked to have got the job done today but we haven’t. We need to make sure that we prepare properly for the replay so we can progress to round two.”

Attention now shifts to the Carabao Cup where the Gills take on the role of underdogs against Thomas Frank’s Brentford on Tuesday night.

The Bees, who are hovering around the mid-table of the Premier League, are proving that last season’s achievements were no fluke and they are more than comfortable holding their own amongst the country’s elite.

“It is a quick turnaround,” said O’Keefe. “Fylde were the underdog at the weekend and it was more of a cup final for them, that will be us on Tuesday.

“We want to give our supporters everything we can on Tuesday night. It is a long way and times are hard at the moment, so we really appreciate them.

“It will be a great occasion for the Club and we will have a great following. That is why you want to progress in these competitions, to pit yourselves against the best. We will go there and enjoy the occasion and try and take care of the ball. It will be a great day out and a free hit.

“When you are a kid, you want to play against Premiership players at Premiership grounds. We are going to have a right go and what will be will be.”

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