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Ever since the start of the season,

Gaffer Justin Edinburgh has spoken about how young his current group of players is.

Gillingham: A special squad, believe in itHe has constantly talked of the fact that he has no doubt about their capabilities, but has also erred on the side of caution regarding expectations following a very good start.

That is all it is, he has said, and he is right in that assumption. We are roughly 25% of the way through the season now, and we sit top of the league. Justin has been quick to praise his squad, stating that they are at the summit ‘on merit’, which is correct.

The table doesn’t lie. On the flip side though, he is very quick to add that they will need time and guidance during any tough times that come their way as the campaign wears on. Obviously there have not been too many disasters so far, only two league defeats are testament to that. And they both came in the space of seven days at Colchester and Barnsley.

So was that a tough time that he had warned about? It is certainly the closest thing to it considering the start his charges have made.

So how did they react?

Quite simply, they have reacted superbly. Since defeat at Oakwell on 26th September – in what was probably their most lacklustre display all season – they have played five league games, winning four and drawing the other. In that time they have scored 14 goals, and they are now the highest scoring home team across the top four divisions in England.

They sit top of the League One table by two points. They have also gained seven points from losing positions in that period, coming from 1-0 down to win versus Fleetwood and Scunthorpe plus taking a point off Oldham having trailed 3-2. They are unbeaten at home in all competitions stretching back to last season, the MEMS Priestfield becoming the very fortress that Edinburgh has desired.

If away sides want to leave Kent with anything they will have to earn it. That is the character that Justin and his assistant David Kerslake have spoken about all campaign long. A willingness to run that extra yard for each other, for the cause.

In the last two fixtures the Gills have won games in injury time – the most recent despite being harshly down to ten men – and in total this season they have scored 11 goals in the last ten minutes of matches. That tally has come from just 17 outings in all competitions. Another example of a side going the distance, playing right up to the final whistle, not settling for second best.

Aside from all the statistical and factual side of things, there is a more romantic sense that something very special is developing. Yes there is a long way to go, with another 32 league games to be played between now and May, but you only have to look at social media to realise that plenty of Gills fans sense it. The players also seem to genuinely believe it, their wanting to get back out on the pitch and win football matches is almost infectious.

As we have already touched on, this squad is young and is still learning, but it is learning fast. They simply do not know when they are beaten, and the togetherness created ensures that they continue to reach the high standards that they and the coaching staff set themselves.

I must admit I am now personally finding it very difficult to not get very excited by what could be created this season. Historically us Gills supporters are supposed to be a pessimistic bunch, always waiting for something to go wrong, always looking down rather than up. But not anymore. From Paul Scally right at the top down to all the staff working tirelessly, a sense of winning and a sense of belonging at the top of the table is being created. We may ultimately fall short of what we are trying to achieve, but that does not mean we should not embrace it and enjoy it.

Clubs like Gillingham do not win titles every season, and we may not this term, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot harbour ambitions of doing so. For the first two months of the season our boys in blue have been first class, and they are enjoying their football. And why shouldn’t they? And why shouldn’t we? We all deserve it.

This is a special squad. Believe in it. Up the Gills!!

Post written by RainhamEndViews
Blog: rainhamendviews.wordpress.com, Twitter: @RainhamEndViews

Note: The views expressed within this blog post are those of the contributing author, and may not necessarily reflect those of MatchDayApp Limited, its representatives or associated partners.

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