Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence knows that pressure is building on him and his players having taken just one point from their last three games.
During that spell, the Gills have scored just once and goalscoring has been one of the key problems all season. That was part of the reason why former manager Neil Harris was relived of his duties in early October with his replacement Clemence supposedly coming in to improve their form in front of goal.
That hasn’t materialised, with Gillingham having the worst goalscoring record in the league, scoring just 19 times in their opening 23 games. It is an issue which obviously needs to be addressed in the upcoming January transfer window, especially if the club want to move back up the League Two table.
Now sat in 14th after a string of poor results, it is pivotal that Clemence turns things around at the nearest possible opportunity to avoid mediocrity this season as well as to keep his job.
Although they might sit in 14th in the league, the Kent side are just five points off of the play-offs in what is an ultra-competitive mid-pack.
There are however serious concerns as to whether Gillingham can keep up with their competitors for a tilt at the play-offs especially given their form in front of goal.
Friday night sees Gillingham host relegation-threatened Sutton United in what could be a potential banana skin for the home side. Sutton go into the game off the back of a huge win against AFC Wimbledon on Boxing Day and will be full of confidence ahead of the League Two tie.
A loss will seriously dampen spirits prior to the turn of the year and it is vital that Gillingham regain the winning thread.
Speaking to Kent Online about the club’s recent struggles, Clemence said:
“I have been in the game a long time and I know that if you don’t win, you go a few games without three points and pressure builds.
“I see a willingness from them to try and improve. I have to tell them when things aren’t right and I am prepared to do that, I have told them that, but I will support them, I will continue to do that.”
“I don’t want to be mid-table or lower than that, that isn’t where I want us to be.
“Halfway point, plenty to improve on, but imagine if we do start scoring goals. We will have a great chance.
“We will keep working at it, keep trying to improve the players and we will keep trying to give them belief because it is difficult for them too, they do feel it and hopefully we can make some improvements and improve in the second half of the season.”
Clemence could be at risk of losing his job if results do not turnaround in the coming weeks. However he is likely to be given time during the January transfer window to source players that he wants in the club.
A new striker will be top of that list as the lack of goals is no doubt holding the club back. Gillingham’s next two games see them face 23rd placed Sutton United and 22nd placed Colchester in what might be considered must-win games for Clemence. If a win is not gained in either, then his job could be in serious jeopardy.