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Interviews

O'Keefe | "We have to use this momentum"

Gills skipper says the team must take the confidence from the win over Brentford and build on it ahead of Saturday's home fixture against Northampton.

9 November 2022

Captain reacts as Gills come from behind to defeat Brentford on penalties in Carabao Cup.

Stuart O’Keefe and his teammates beat the traffic, then they beat Premier League opposition Brentford in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

The Gills squad turned up to the Gtech Community Stadium on foot after abandoning their team bus which was stuck in heavy traffic.

After scaling a few fences and jogging straight out onto the pitch, Gillingham put in a dogged performance which put them into the final 16 of the competition.

Against the odds, Gillingham triumphed on penalties 6-5 after Mikael Mandron’s headed goal had cancelled out England international’s Ivan Toney’s early strike in one of the most memorable Gills games in years.

O’Keefe spoke to the media straight after the victory.

 

Conceding Early…

 

“It was tough. When you come to these grounds against Premier League teams you always want to keep it tight. The last thing you say when you leave the dressing room is, ‘keep it tight and try and frustrate them.’

“If you concede an early goal you can capitulate. It can become a very long evening.

“We stood strong and composed ourselves. We slowed it down and managed it the best we could. We got our chance and we took it.”

 

 

Enjoying the occasion…

 

“We said that we just needed to go out and enjoy it. These occasions are few and far between for lower league clubs. For us to come here and put in that kind of performance and dig in and show resilience, it’s testament to the boys in the changing room.

“For us to show that level of concentration, especially after going behind early, shows that we have some intelligent players at the club. We kept our shape well and pressed when we could. We got our just rewards.”

 

 

Penalties…

 

“The pressure was on Brentford. We had done well just to get to penalties. 

“The standard of penalties was excellent and it was nice to give the fans something to cheer about. They were outstanding throughout the game.”

 

Momentum for the league…

 

“When you go to big Premier League clubs and beat teams you are not suppose to beat, it can galvanise you. We have to use this momentum. We need to take this confidence into the league. We haven’t been good enough, we know that.

“We have just shown that we can go out and put on a performance. We have shown that we have heart and desire.”


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