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Gillingham head coach Ady Pennock tells fans to take out their frustration on him

By Luke Cawdell

Ady Pennock is willing to take the flak if it means his Gillingham players don’t have to.

The Gills head coach has been under fire after Gillingham’s poor start to the season.

A 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday sent the Gills bottom of League 1 and still without a win from their opening seven league games.

Gills boss Ady Pennock wants to protect his players from flak Picture Ady Kerry

Gills boss Ady Pennock wants to protect his players from flak Picture: Ady Kerry

They host promotion-chasing Charlton on Saturday but, whatever the outcome, Pennock doesn’t want to see his players targeted like they were after Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Oxford.

He said: “The boys have had a lot of stick recently and I have as well.

“It is part of the job but the fans were singing that they were not fit to wear the shirt. That was harsh.

“What the players have got is endeavour and hunger. Maybe they are short a bit ability-wise but compared to other teams, we can’t go out there and spend £8,000 on players’ (wages).

“I would rather they have a go at me than the players. Some of them are on £400 a week playing for this club, other clubs are paying players £8,000 a week. What do people want?

“We have players on the bench on £200 a week. It is unheard of (at this level) but we gather the troops, put the carriages in a circle and we are Gillingham.

“If people don’t like the way we play, how we do things and how we dig in, then unlucky, because we are fighting for every ball.”

The Gills now face a Charlton team who are part of the upper-class of riches in League 1.

Pennock said: “They have got a massive squad, it’s like chalk and cheese between us and them, off the pitch as well. It is phenomenal.

“Financially, they have a lot of money and we have to be realistic but what we will do is give our all and that is all you can ask for.”

Read the full story in Thursday's Medway Messenger.

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