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Gills boss happy to avoid slip up at old club

12:17 09 September 2012

Gillingham FC

Gillingham FC's manager Martin Allen

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Martin Allen delighted with 3-1 win at Barnet

Gillingham boss Martin Allen admitted he was happy t0 have avoided a banana skin waiting to happen as his side romped to a 3-1 win at his old employers Barnet.

Jack Payne, Deon Burton and Danny Kedwell all scored in the first half to give the Gills three points, and keep them top of League Two.

“It was always going to be a tough game and we have all seen over the years with the top v bottom scenario,” said Allen.

“With me coming back here it was a special day personally and it was a banana skin waiting to happen, the players applied themselves very well.

“Going 2-0 up so early didn’t actually help us that much because I suppose a little bit of complacency set in and Barnet have match winners in their team and some good players so I knew they would be a threat at some stage during the afternoon.

“We stood firm and defended as a team - we worked hard in our units and our supporters gave great backing on the far side. I sat in the technical area and there must have been at least 1,000 fans singing their hearts out.”

Allen was pleased to see midfielder Payne score his first goal of the season.

“It was a great strike from Jack and we have asked him at times to play more advanced and to push on and use the quality of his play and I’m delighted for him,” he said.

“He missed a bit of pre-season and he wasn’t well – there is more to come from him without a shadow of a doubt in terms of goals and assists.”

The 47-year-old said his side were by no means complacent despite being well ahead at half time.

He said: “We didn’t feel it was done by any means and we said at half time we wanted to keep a clean sheet and we also wanted to score more goals.

“We defended really well, stood firm and on the counter attack we had three or four good chances but it wasn’t to be. I’m absolutely delighted to get three points here today.”

He also praised his side’s team spirit: “They have got character, there is no doubt about that and there are no lightweights.

“If people are not pulling their weight the lads step in – you should have seen the players that were on the subs bench in the dressing room, they patted everyone on the back and shook their hands and that’s a measure of our team spirit and unity.

“It’s a good feeling to be part of an honest, decent group of professional footballers and they are good people and I’m lucky that Mr. Scally has given me the opportunity to come here and put a team together like this.”

Allen spent the last three games in charge of Barnet last season on a short term contract with one mission - to keep them in the football league. He admitted it was a special time.

He said: “It was magic, the last time I was here was when we beat Wimbledon 3-0 in the penultimate game of the season and this place was packed with fans and that was the first game back here for me after I had left to go to Notts County the year before.

“It was a day I will never forget – the players were fantastic, the supporters were fantastic and I was very proud. To stay up against Burton on the last day of the season and win 2-1 was amazing and I was so happy.

“I really did want the job here and I wanted to be the manager of Barnet – I had it in my mind that I could do it but I had an email telling me that I wasn’t getting the job. I wanted to take it on and thought I owed them something as I walked out at a critical stage.”

With the loan window opening this week he said he is hoping to add to his squad.

He said: “We have some fantastic senior players – we signed Adam Barrett and we have Andy Frampton, Deon Burton and Danny Kedwell and we are looking to bring in another player of experience and stature who knows how to play the game.”

He said he has been given a helping hand in his couting department by former Barnet manager Guiliano Grazioli.

He said: “He’s been doing scouting for us – Giuliano has been a magnificent servant for Barnet and he got an email in the summer to say he wasn’t working here (Barnet) anymore. He’s a good person, he has good knowledge, he’s as honest as the day is long and he’s been helping with recruitment.

“He’s had to get a job as well but when he can he goes out to watch games for us and he’s a great guy to have around. He’s great with people and he’s a good acquisition.”

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