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Gillingham boss Peter Taylor believes players had League 1 opener on their minds at Ebbsfleet

By Craig Tucker
Gills manager Peter Taylor. Picture: Keith Gillard
Gills manager Peter Taylor. Picture: Keith Gillard

Peter Taylor felt Gills' performance against Ebbsfleet was down to players wanting to avoid injury so close to the new season.

Neither Gillingham XI - with Taylor fielding a different side in each half - really got going in a 1-0 defeat at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.

But with the opening League 1 game at MK Dons just a week away, Taylor's players wanted to stay out of trouble.

The Gills boss, whose side lost 1-0 at Dover on Tuesday, said: "I'm just pleased that we've got through 90 minutes with no injuries. We had a couple of slight knocks but no injuries.

"I'm expecting everybody to train on Monday morning and we're going to have a good week to go over the things we've done well and the things we haven't done well and have got to get better at.

"I think the last couple of games have been a touch disappointing but it's no coincidence it's getting close to the start of the season.

"Players are thinking 'Hang on, I've just worked extremely hard in pre-season and the last thing I'm going to do is go and get clattered in a tackle because I want to be up for the first team for MK Dons.'"

Bradley Dack held his hands up for the mistake leading to Charlie Sheringham's 85th-minute winner for Fleet.

The midfielder was caught on the ball inside the Gills penalty box, then sold Glenn Morris short with his attempted backpass.

Taylor said: "I think Bradley Dack made the wrong decision and he just admitted it. He should have just played it to Glenn Morris but he's tried something difficult that's close to our goal, which is not right."

Gills fielded trialist right-back Alex Brister for the second half, with the fitness of Matt Fish a concern following his collision with the post against Ipswich last week.

Taylor said: "We've got the injury to Matt Fish and we're not sure how that's going to pan out at the moment, so I've got to get myself ready in case we need another right-back for next Saturday."

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