Gillingham will welcome Lincoln City to Priestfield Stadium on Friday with the aim of registering a fifth game in a row unbeaten.
The Gills have won two and drawn two of their last four games, and are in the hunt for a play-off spot in EFL League One.
Ahead of the game, forward Vadaine Oliver tackled the press via Zoom. Here are five of his key quotes.
On his form
“I am really pleased. A massive thing was kicking on and doing what I did last year and more, so getting the recognition from the league and other sources is really nice and being in this team makes it easy for me to show my stuff and get that recognition – credit to the team and staff for why I feel in such good form.”
Oliver has been in excellent form recently, and that coincides with the team’s form.
He is vital to the side’s build up play, and, when the lone striker in the team is playing well, the rest of the team usually follows. He has been creating an assisting – now he will just be after a goal to go alongside the rest.
On pressures as a striker
“You have got to have pressure on you as a striker because at the end of the day you are required to be involved in goals for the team.
“When there is the two of you it can be difficult in terms of the game load, but in terms of pressure it is nothing you do not get in any normal circumstance, because otherwise you have players to replace you if you do not have a good game.
“It is there, but no added pressure. There is still time for free agents to come in. Olly [Lee] playing in the 10 role helps when we play one up top.”
Following the January transfer window, Gillingham are left with just two natural strikers: John Akinde and Oliver himself.
When asked if that brings extra pressure, Oliver basically said no. He made the point that there is pressure to perform because of the limited options available, but there are other pressures in the form of competition when the situation is flipped.
Either way, expect the big forward to keep giving 100% and keep delivering for the Gills.
On the new signings
“New additions always shake things up a bit. For us they have been really good – no discredit to the players before. but the additions we have made suit us.
“Olly is a real number 10 we lacked before, Callum [Slattery] has done really well, [Robbie] Cundy at centre half. We made some brilliant additions at a vital time.”
Oliver Lee, Callum Slattery and Robbie Cundy are just three players Gillingham bought in over the January transfer window, and they have made all the difference for the Gills.
Unbeaten since Lee and Slattery moved into the midfield, Gillingham look a better outfit now, and much better placed to mount a play-off charge.
On playing on TV
“It was a great result last time we were on Sky. Hopefully we can emulate that and get another really good performance from the team.
“The run of form does not feel like a one off – earlier in the season we had dipped here and there, but right now we are in a bit of form and everyone knows what is required of them, which makes it a lot easier going into games. Leading up to the game it is extra motivation.
“Everyone thinks it is an opportunity to show what they can do and an opportunity to show people that have maybe heard your name, but once the game starts you switch off to it, forget the cameras are there and you focus on the game and task at hand – game mode.”
Oliver is yet to play on TV since joining the Gills in the summer, but the last time he featured on TV was the League Two play-off final last season, where he earned promotion with Northampton Town.
The Gills forward is hoping for a similar result on Friday.
“They are a really good team; we know we are going to be in for a tough game, but anyone can beat anyone. I think if we turn up and show the level of intensity in our play they will struggle.
“I do not think they are going into the game thinking it is going to be easy – they are aware it will be a tough one and as long as we step up to the challenge, I do not see why we will not be in the game.
“The gaffer mentioned that Lincoln outwork teams. They run over the top of them, bully them, outplay them and never give up on results. For me, that is similar to us in the sense that we do not give up, and with the energy and intensity we have shown recently it will be a tough game for them to dominate and outwork us, so I think we are in for a very good game.”
Lincoln are flying in League One, second in the table on only goal difference and have suffered just one defeat in nine.
The Imps have conceded one goal in their last six away games, and Gillingham will have to be at their absolute best to get anything from the game. It promises to be a good match.