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Martin Allen pleased to end criticism of Gillingham's home form

By Alex Hoad

Gillingham ended their long run without a home win on Tuesday night, much to the delight of boss Martin Allen.

He has been at the sharp-end of the criticism following the club’s dip in form at Priestfield.

Before Tuesday night’s game the Gills hadn’t won in their previous five at home. That ended with a gritty 2-0 win over Northampton.

“It does start to get on everyone’s back,” said Allen. “Everyone mentions it these days, ‘you haven’t won at home, you haven’t done this, you haven’t done that.' I have to try and deflect that and dilute that feeling.

“The players have played a big part in it over the last couple of days. The staff and with the atmosphere in the dressing room, that’s the sort of dressing room we want.”

Allen – whose side sit top of League 2 - accepted that questions and criticism were all part of the game, although he believes people should look at the bigger picture.

“It is natural,” he said. “Supporters are going to ask, people ask. You fill up your car with petrol and someone will shout across the forecourt ‘sort it out at home, what you doing?’

“Some geezer sent me a letter through the post without his name on it, or telephone or address, saying, ‘Allen, sort out the home form, useless,' and all that sort of stuff but he never put his mobile number on it, which is a shame.

“God bless you. It is a little like water off an old dog’s back to me. But to our younger players, who have never experienced anything like this before, they have been top of the league for nearly five months and for some of these players it’s a tough task to get used to it.

"Teams come here with a different attitude. They play five across midfield, with a holding midfielder, and one up front. All the teams are doing it and we have to work out how we are going to break it down and get past it and that’s the task we face.

“(Against Northampton) we played the form team and you could see how dangerous they were in the first half. They have some good players and are well organised. They are a good team and it was a very good win for all our supporters and players and for anyone involved in our club.”

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