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Gillingham's Chris Whelpdale and Joe Martin almost took things too far after an altercation against Preston North End

By Luke Cawdell
Joe Martin (left) and Chris Whelpdale walk off the field together at Preston

Gills boss Peter Taylor won’t be taking any action following an altercation between team-mates Joe Martin and Chris Whelpdale on Saturday.

The two players squared up at Preston midway through the first half as the Gills trailed 1-0 and were being put under pressure by the hosts.

Taylor admits the on-field argument didn’t make good viewing but had no problem with people showing a bit of passion for the cause.

Joe Martin takes on Keith Keane

“Joe and Chris are probably best mates in some ways, as they travel in together, but all of a sudden they are having words with each other because of a defending situation,” said the Gills boss, who looked on from the touchline.

“They got very, very aggressive with each other and to me it was very close to being a headbut, which would have then been a problem, but I don’t think it was and thankfully in the end they realised how they were taking it.”

The players were clearly frustrated but Taylor wants his players to be passionate.

Chris Whelpdale attempts to win the ball at Preston Pic: Barry Goodwin

“As a manager, at times, I don’t mind that,” he said.

“If we were to get a bit more of that in our team then it would help. There is not enough of it that goes on these days. In my day, people used to really have a go at each other, where these days they are much quieter individuals.

“As much as it wasn’t good to see, it wasn’t a terrible thing to see either. Thankfully, they were just short of it being a problem.”

Taylor had a chat with the pair on the team bus after leaving Preston and all was good again.

Gillingham interim manager Peter Taylor Picture: Barry Goodwin

“We had a little bit of a chuckle about it, to be honest,” he said.

“Neither of them handled the situation fantastically. Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up, whether you agree or not, then get it sorted out afterwards. That’s what should have happened.

“The players do care, they are not happy with the season we have just had. It has been a frustrating season. In that respect, there was a bit of emotion there, a lot of emotion, because of the situation.”

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