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The Shouting Men column with Southampton loanee Alfie Jones as he looked ahead to Rochdale trip

Rochdale will be fired up this weekend and we will need to be on our game to beat them.

They will want to get a bit of revenge on us after our recent win over them.

Alfie Jones knows Rochdale will be out for revenge this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry
Alfie Jones knows Rochdale will be out for revenge this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry

They have got a couple of physical players who caused us a few problems at our place but I felt we managed them well.

I remember their striker Aaron Wilbraham, he is a physical presence, good at holding the ball up and bringing other players in. He helps to brings that physicality to their team.

We need to get in and around him and put him under pressure so he can’t bring others into the game. Then hopefully we can play our game, be high tempo and cause them problems.

We have been solid defensively recently, with a good record of clean sheets.

Gillingham's loan man Alfie Jones Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham's loan man Alfie Jones Picture: Ady Kerry

I am playing in that midfield role, in front of the defence, and it helps being a centre-half myself because I know what they want from me.

When the balls are going up to the striker I need to be on his toes to try and nick it off him and that takes a bit of pressure off them. The work in that position can go unnoticed but I don’t mind, as long as it helps the team and benefits us.

It is good to know that everyone knows what job they have to do and the players who have come on have been making a tremendous impact. In training the whole squad has been phenomenal.

Fans haven’t seen a lot of Matty Willock yet, he has been unlucky with injuries, but he has been on fire in training over the past few weeks. I’ve played with him before and know he is a top player. I am sure the fans will agree when he gets in the team.

More on the Gills;

He’s a very good technical player, quite a big lad as well, good on the ball and it has just been unfortunate for him getting niggles and stuff. It will be good to see him back.

There are some good players waiting to take the shirts of those who are starting and so every week you have to play consistently and be effective, and do your job right.

Now the transfer window is open and the manager wants to bring players in, that has put an extra bit of pressure on to perform.

We have a great balance in the squad here. We have that winning mentality, we know we need to work hard for each other but you need to enjoy it as well and we do enjoy a laugh.

Gillingham's loan man Alfie Jones Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham's loan man Alfie Jones Picture: Ady Kerry

Stuart O’Keefe is a top laugh and Mika Mandron is the loudest guy in the changing room, he is a funny guy. He hasn’t stopped, even since his kid was born. I don’t think he will ever be quiet, he has so much energy every morning – I wish I had it!

It’s an easy place to settle and Jordan Roberts came in last week, after joining on loan from Ipswich. He did a decent initiation at Peterborough, with a Michael Jackson song.

I did one at Doncaster away. I haven’t got the best voice but you have to give it a go, I did Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger. I was a bit screechy!

I have quite a varied taste in music and used to play the ukulele. The whole class had lessons in it, I bought myself a sky blue one at the end of the year. I’ve still got it somewhere. I used to play Hey Jude on it and maybe I’ll get it out again one day!

Alfie Jones takes aim against Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry
Alfie Jones takes aim against Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry

This isn’t the first time I have been living away from home – I was on loan at St Mirren last season – but at least it’s a bit closer. I can get to go back (to Southampton) every now and then to see the family.

My girlfriend is also living up here now. I do my bit around the house and I am not bad in the kitchen. I tend to cook most nights. I am enjoying it here and as long as I am enjoying my football then it takes care of itself.

We’ve got a long trip coming up on Saturday and we’ll get the cards going which will help keep our mind off the time.

The man we have to watch out for is Lee Hodson, he plays it very safe but he is good!

Hopefully we can come back with a win to make the journey more pleasant.


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