Gillingham Boss Makes Squad Threat

Gillingham manager Stephen Clemence has demanded a reaction from his players following Monday’s 5-1 humiliation to mid-table Harrogate Town, threatening changes if they do not respond. 

The Gills took the lead in the game through George Lapslie before Simon Weaver’s side responded an astonishing five times in the second half. The goals were courtesy of Anthony O Connor, Jack Muldoon, Abraham Odoh and a Matty Daly brace as Clemence’s team were brushed aside.

The Kent club have been in and around the play-offs for most of the season but have won just once in the last seven games. That came in a dramatic 3-2 victory against Morecambe, who themselves are in a similar position to the Gills in the League Two table.

Clemence had confirmed after the game that he did plan on giving the players Tuesday and Wednesday off this week following Monday’s game but the manner of the defeat in Yorkshire meant he cancelled that in a bid to turn the side’s fortunes around. Any chance of finishing in the top seven is no longer in his team’s hands, as most of the sides around them have games in hand.

Gillingham have struggled for goals this season scoring just 40, with top scorers Conor Masterson and Connor Mahoney on six goals each. This has prompted the former Hull City man to vary his tactics throughout the season.

Speaking to Kent Online, an unhappy Clemence admitted he needed to see something different in the upcoming fixtures from his side.

“I need to see a reaction from them. I will get ready for the next game but also I have got one eye on the future as well.

“I need to see how the boys react because one thing is for sure, I want to be successful at this football club and performances like that are not what I want to be a part of. They need to produce a lot better than that under my watch.

“Players are always under pressure to perform, there is always someone watching and you have to perform for your future, of course you do,” the 46-year-old added.

“It’s the first time since I have been here where I have seen a bit of weakness and they’ve dipped under the pressure, whatever you want to call it, [and] made individual mistakes.

“We can’t have any more days like that again. If we do, we have to make changes don’t we?”

Gillingham travel to Bradford City on Saturday needing a positive result. With just four games remaining, time is beginning to run out for them to cement a credible play-off charge.

Writer’s View

A few times now Gillingham have been in the play-offs and in a position to have their fate in their own hands but one struggle for the Kent side is character and the players also appear to be struggling since changing formation.

That being said, a slip-up from either Crawley Town or Morecambe who sit seventh and eighth, and the Gills could be straight back in the mix. This promotion race has already been full of twists and turns, so nothing is certain going into the final run-in.


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