No pressure on us says Gillingham boss Hessenthaler
Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler says all the pressure is on Norwich tonight. The Kent side dropped out of League One last season, one of the nails in their coffin coming in the penultimate home game when a 2-0 win sealed City's League One title triumph.
Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler says all the pressure is on Norwich tonight.
The Kent side dropped out of League One last season, one of the nails in their coffin coming in the penultimate home game when a 2-0 win sealed City's League One title triumph.
The Canaries' new campaign got off to a losing start against Watford on Friday, while Gillingham drew 1-1 at home to Cheltenham.
“It's a good game for us and there is no real pressure,” said Hessenthaler. “I would love to go there and put a real show on, try and pass the ball, enjoy it and who knows? Ian (Hendon, assistant manager) went to their game on Friday and had a look. They looked a bit like us at times, very nervy.
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“They were at home and expected to win and in the end Watford were fantastic. There's no pressure on us, but there is extra pressure on them, they've played one game and lost.
“It's a game that we should enjoy. It's a fantastic pitch and I believe we went there last season and did quite well for a spell. Then Norwich scored and they fell apart. We are capable and the boys should be looking forward to it.”
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His comments were echoed by striker Adebayo Akinfenwa.
“It's going to be a toughie, but we've got no pressure,” he said. “I think we're the favourites in League Two so every week there will be pressure on us in league games, but, for this game, Norwich must be the favourites so we've just got to go out there, enjoy the occasion and play the way we know we can play.”
It was Akinfenwa who scored a debut goal at the weekend - and he says there is more to come.
“There is more to come and I'm not where I want to be conditioning-wise,” he said. “I haven't had a full pre-season, but the gaffer is working me hard and I'm getting sharper. Saturday would have done me the world of good and there will be a bit more of me to see. The complete Akinfenwa will be there soon.”
Akinfenwa bagged 17 goals for Northampton last season and is aiming for more.
“When I'm on the pitch a fair bit, I know I'm going to score,” he said. “I'll get fit and I'm always confident I will get goals. Whenever the gaffer needs me I am ready to go. I am not a bench player and I'll be looking to start soon.”