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Gillingham manager Steve Lovell reacts to 2-1 FA Cup first round win over Leyton Orient

By Matthew Panting

Manager Steve Lovell hopes Gillingham’s FA Cup win over Leyton Orient will help boost their confidence.

The Gills, who sit in League 1's relegation zone, made it back to back wins with victory in the first round at Priestfield on Saturday.

“Any game that you win, whether it’s cup or league, breeds confidence,” said Lovell.

Tom Eaves celebrates his goal with Scott Wagstaff. Picture Andy Jones

Tom Eaves celebrates his goal with Scott Wagstaff. Picture: Andy Jones

“It’s mainly what you do on the training ground, if you work hard in the training ground then there’s no excuse for not working hard on a Saturday or Tuesday.

“Confidence comes from results but it also comes from performances and players’ roles and responsibilities, and what is required.”

Gills dominated the first half and it was all going to plan for Lovell before Orient improved after the break.

“I said it would be a tough game and it proved that way in the second half,” added Lovell.

Gills' Conor Wilkinson is pulled back by Orient's Joe Widdowson, who collected his second yellow card. Picture Andy Jones

Gills' Conor Wilkinson is pulled back by Orient's Joe Widdowson, who collected his second yellow card. Picture: Andy Jones

“It was important we kept focus on what we wanted to do. We started very well and the first half was going to plan.

“You have to give credit to Orient. In the second half they changed their formation and made a couple of substitutions and it seemed to work for them. They got into the game.

“That’s what football is all about. You have to deal with things when the opposition do get a stage when they are on top. In the end we managed to deal with it very well and got the second goal.

 

“They obviously got their goal and it gave them a lift so it was a bit nail-biting in the second half.”

Gillingham’s fast start set the tempo to the afternoon and Lovell was keen to stress it has been a familiar theme during his tenure at the helm.

“It’s been no coincidence that the other games have been exactly the same,” noted the Gills caretaker boss. “Even the Northampton game which we lost, in the first half we could have been two or three up.

Caretaker Gillingham boss Steve Lovell guided his team to victory on Saturday. Picture Andy Jones

Caretaker Gillingham boss Steve Lovell guided his team to victory on Saturday. Picture: Andy Jones

“The tempo of the game gives you the balance. First half, without being disrespectful to Orient, I thought it became too easy for us at times.

“Then players start doing the wrong things and they can get over confident rather than us killing the game off but that’s natural, we all been in that position where we’re enjoying ourselves.

“The only way we can enjoy ourselves more is by sticking the ball in the back of the net and that’s the only thing that was missing in the first half.”

Read the match report from Gillingham's FA Cup first round win over Leyton Orient here

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