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Gillingham manager Martin Allen praised his team's second half display against Championship side Watford at Priestfield

Martin Allen
Martin Allen

An improved second half performance against Watford on Tuesday night pleased Gills boss Martin Allen.

The Championship side threatened to run riot in the opening 45 minutes before the Gills came good in the second half.

"We were nowhere near it in the first half," said the Gills boss (pictured).

"We had to change the system because they were looking like they were going to be scoring for fun. One of the goals was lucky, but that’s okay, that’s going to happen.

"I thought in the second half we were superb. There were some players who came out with a great deal of credit and have really pushed themselves forward.

"We had a very good team performance on Saturday and some of these players were looking to push into that group. Some players have set themselves right up for it, which is great news.

"At half-time I asked them for a bit more tenacity, more self belief, to be more competitive and more tigerish in the tackle, with a little bit more of that courage because in the first half they were better than us and that’s fine.

"But I still wanted to compete with them in the first half. All credit to the players for a great second half."

Allen made changes with several senior players being introduced. And they came close to netting against Gianfranco Zola’s side.

Allen said: "We asked them to try and get a result in the second half and to be fair they dug in and I thought 0-0 in the second half was unfair because we had a good few chances to score goals ourselves.

"We hit the post in the second half and had another good chance go over and for one there was a good save.

"There were those bits and pieces to take into account but we have seen the spirit of the players."

And Allen felt the disruption from the afternoon’s photo-call wasn’t good preparation for the match.

"It wasn’t an easy day for them," he said.

"All of the players had to be in since 2pm for pictures to be done and it’s not in any way shape or form the right way to prepare for a game, sitting around the ground here for five and a half hours.

"It isn’t right but the players dug in, showed a bit of courage and I was very pleased for them."

What did you make of the performance? Comment below.

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