Gillingham boss Martin Allen praises his team's spirit

Allen: His Gills side are edging towards the League Two title

Allen: His Gills side are edging towards the League Two title

Gillingham boss Martin Allen told Goals on Sunday it is team strength, not individual prowess, which is driving them towards the League Two title.

The Gills capitalised on postponed games involving rivals Port Vale and Burton Albion to move eight points clear at the summit, with a 1-0 home win over Oxford on Saturday.

"Our goalkeeper is the best in the league by a country mile, and so is our left-back and so is our right-back and our centre-back...I could go right through the team. We're a strong team."

Martin Allen

Allen told Ben and Kammy the hard-fought victory epitomised the battling spirit they've shown this season and, despite seeing none of his players making the shortlist for the player of the year award, is adamant his side deserve to win the League Two crown.

"We've been grinding out results for the whole season," he said.

"We've been getting results week-in, week-out, playing solid, steady - if sometimes unspectatular - football. But when you're top of the league the pressure does get to the players and we had 10,000 people there at Priestfield on Saturday.

"We've got good young players coming through and some senior players such as Adam Barrett, Deon Burton, Danny Kedwell and Andrew Frampton have all done well bringing these young players through.

"The team spirit is optimised with the players we've got. None of the players we've got have been picked in the top three nominees for player of the year voted for by all the other clubs. And I thought that was pretty good.

"I think it's more complementary to our club that we're a team and can keep rotating and changing and they can all go in and play and fit into our system. They can all work together.

"On one hand you could say that it's shocking because our goalkeeper is the best in the league by a country mile, and so is our left-back and so is our right-back and our centre-back...I could go right through the team. We're a strong team."

Hard work

Gillingham's win over Oxford came courtesy of a superb strike from right-back Matt Fish and Allen reckons the defender sums up the attitude of his team - although he revealed few players work as hard as the 24-year-old in training.

"He has practised and trained harder than probably any of our players," said the Gills boss.

"He stays behind after training, he's always in the gym and always working at his game.

"He was a free transfer a couple of years ago from Dover after being at Crystal Palace, so he went down and is now on his way back.

"When you see a player work as hard as he has on his game to improve, get in the team and play like he's doing - be top of the league for the whole season, and go into League One to play next season - how fantastic is that? And for him to win the game for the club is an amazing feeling."