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Gillingham caretaker boss Steve Lovell wary of Bury revival under fellow temporary manager Ryan Lowe

By Craig Tucker

It’s a battle of the caretaker bosses when Gillingham meet Bury at Priestfield.

The Shakers sacked Lee Clark this week after a run of four defeats left them 23rd in League 1 – one place and two points behind Gills.

They’ve put player-coach Ryan Lowe in temporary charge and Gillingham know all about the impact a caretaker manager can have with results vastly improved under Steve Lovell.

Gillingham caretaker manager Steve Lovell Picture Andy Jones

Gillingham caretaker manager Steve Lovell Picture: Andy Jones

Gills could climb out of the bottom four with a win on Saturday but Lovell knows it won’t be easy against a Bury side out to impress.

“They’ve sacked their manager so they’ll be coming here with a bit of confidence in the lad who’s taken over there now,” said Lovell.

“It’s about performances and if we perform well enough, I think we’ll get a result. If we don’t perform well enough, we will find it a struggle.

“They’ll be coming here with the same interest we have in winning the game and all those players will be eager to prove a point to the caretaker manager.

“It’ll be a tough game and one that we’ll approach in the right way and hopefully get a result.”

Gills have fared well against the top sides under Lovell – beating Peterborough, Rotherham and drawing with Wigan – with his only defeat coming against Northampton. The Cobblers, like Bury, were below Gills at the time.

Lovell said: “It’s a different challenge entirely to playing the top teams. Northampton was the same and it won’t be different to that kind of game, so we’ve got to make sure that we’re one step ahead."

Defender Gabriel Zakuani is away on international duty with DR Congo and with Alex Lacey and Ben Nugent still a couple of weeks from fitness, Gills are stretched at the back so Luke O’Neill could feature centrally or youngster Finn O’Mara may step in.

Billy Bingham (broken ankle) is a long-term absentee in midfield but striker Conor Wilkinson (ankle) should be fit after coming off in the second half during Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy win at Priestfield over Reading under-21s.

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