Phil Parkinson was a happy man after seeing his side eventually overcome Gillingham on a wet and miserable afternoon in Kent. "It's a great win for us," said Parkinson. "It's a difficult place to come and the conditions were really, really tough today. We came here last season and we competed and battled but we didn't play, but today we got that balance right where we competed well with their direct style when the ball came into the box, but we also showed real composure in possession as well and had several chances to go in front in the first half. There was one particularly gilt-edged one for Josh [Scowen] and there was the disallowed goal [from O'Nien] which I need to look at again.”
PP on the major talking points of the match: "We were good today. Obviously the penalty save and the sending off were big moments, but equally it is not always easy against ten men but I felt we showed good patience, kept switching the play, moving the ball, and eventually we got our rewards with the penalty and the late goal from Goochy. When you come here and it is gale-force winds and the rain is driving down, it suits their way of playing. But we knew what to expect and I felt the lads coped with it really, really well. The most pleasing thing was that when we were in possession we played with that bit of calmness, that bit of class, that you need to do here and it got us the result in the end.. Josh has been excellent in terms of his movement and his runs, and on another day he scores at least two goals today. The one in the first half he will be waking up in the middle of the night with his eyes wide open!"
The gaffer on Gillingham's dubious penalty: "Without a crowd appealing for everything, you still have the Gillingham bench jumping up and down and appealing for everything! The ref gave it - was it soft? I don't know. People are telling me it was harsh but Burgey stepped up to the plate and made a great save, and I'm pleased for him that he'll get some of the headlines. It was important after not winning for a couple of games that we get the performance right, and we feel that we've got the squad to make changes and freshen up the team when players have lost a bit of sharpness like Chrissy [Maguire]. He came off the bench today, scored the pen, and was great when he came on, but I just felt that in the last couple of games he hadn't been as sharp as he was previously so now we have the options to be able to make changes.”
A show of strength: "Our strength is the depth of the squad. I said to the board and the people upstairs at the club that there are some good starting XIs in this division, very very good, and we are up there with them, but I feel our second XI is good as well and once the winter months kick in and the suspensions and the injuries come, we have the options that will help us. Elliot Embleton played for the U23s last night and scored two goals, Callum McFadzean got 45 minutes and did well, and players like those are going to be important for us. I view every game as a big game. We know the points tally we have to aim for, we know the ratio we have to aim for, and we know the stats we have to achieve on the pitch to get that, and we just have to concentrate on making sure the results keep on coming."
Meanwhile, Gillingham manager Steve Evans also gave a post-match summary! He said: “The missed penalty happens, the rebound we should score, that looked easy for Dominic to score but the disappointed aspect was two-fold for me. Alex MacDonald’s challenge, I thought it was a red card, I will have a look back but I think the referee has got that one right. Alex MacDonald quite rightly had the ears taken off him, so he should. I told him he must look at his team-mates and feel embarrassed. You don’t get embarrassed by missing a chance from a penalty, but the boys have worked incredibly hard, they are producing some really good performances but when it all levels out you have to believe that it turns. It will turn, we have to believe it will. Chances were made and not taken, a rebound was missed when it seemed easier to score and Alex commits a terrible challenge, for me it is a red card, on the eye, I will have to look at it back. The best team has lost but nobody is going to believe that around the country. A large percentage of the fans don’t see it, it is still a defeat and it is my responsibility, but it was an outstanding Gillingham performance.”
In other news, Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock is looking to sign free agent Duncan Watmore after he spent the last two weeks training with Boro. Warnock said: “I’m not really aware of what’s going to happen, but he’s (Watmore) done ever so well. I’m pleased for him. I’m not sure what we can do regarding signings, but he wanted to get fit and it’s been a good opportunity for him. He’s done really well, and it’s still ongoing. I don't know whether we can make a signing, but I would like him (if we could get him).”