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MANAGER: Positive frame of mind

7 February 2014

Graham Kavanagh on the Gillingham game

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us ahead of the visit of Gillingham on Saturday.

"Gillingham is a big game for us,” he agreed. “They've been doing well of late and they've managed to climb up the table under Peter Taylor. 

“They tend to play a rigid 4-4-2 and they like to get the ball into Ade Akinfenwa as early as possible. They have other good players and I'm sure they'll cause us problems. We played them down there and we weren't anywhere near our maximum.

“Lee [Miller] got sent off and we got done with a penalty, so we do feel like we owe them one. They'll be looking to come here and maybe catch us on the counter so we might have to take a different approach to the one we took at the weekend.”

“Gillingham have gone from strength to strength since they beat us,” he added. “Peter Taylor has great experience and they all understand his philosophy of the game because they know him well down there. 

“He generally has two banks of four and a top two and they are very hard working. They press you when they can and in Akinfenwa they have a huge body who can also run and cause problems. He’s the kind of player you have to manage and sometimes you accept that if he’s going to win the first ball then you just let him have it.

“They have energy in Cody McDonald and he knows where the goal is. He probably goes a little unnoticed because of the work Akinfenwa does and you definitely have to guard against that. They have ability and talent in the group but we think we should be able to cause them one or two problems as well.

“We’ll approach the game very much in a positive frame of mind and we will definitely feel that we can get something from it.”

"The home form has been decent for us,” he said. “Our best performances and results have come here so that’s what we’ll be looking to do again. I think the performances away from home have been ok but we just haven't had the quality at the key moments. 

“I think the lack of experience in the group has been a factor. We were winning away last week but we couldn't manage the game. We were running beyond the ball and exposing ourselves, but I suppose you're going to get that naivety with younger players. 

"The million dollar question is why we can't seem to pick up points away from home. I think we all know the inconsistency of the group is the thing we need to improve. We are slowly getting there but it’s a process that has to speed up because we’re running out of games. I’ve emphasised to the players that the next two games are big, big games. They understand that and they are prepared to give their all to get what we need.”

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