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Gillingham boss Ady Pennock must ponder his defensive options yet again

By Luke Cawdell

A red card for Zesh Rehman has added to Ady Pennock’s defensive woes.

Pennock only had three fit defenders for last Saturday's trip to Rochdale – which ended in a 4-1 defeat – and must now reassess his slender options again this week.

Chris Herd, Deji Oshilaja and Ryan Jackson are all struggling to shake off injuries.

Zesh Rehman's red card against Rochdale on Saturday compounds boss Ady Pennock's defensive woes Picture Barry Goodwin

Zesh Rehman's red card against Rochdale on Saturday compounds boss Ady Pennock's defensive woes Picture: Barry Goodwin

Pennock said: “It has been the same for the last three or four weeks.

“We lose Zesh (for Saturday’s home game against Peterborough) and since I have been here I don’t think we have had the same back four, three or five, or same team to put out.

“It has been frustrating. That does mess you up a bit. We are having different partnerships every week, the full-backs have been different and that has been disappointing.

“What can you do? We have injured players we left behind (at the weekend) and now Zesh is out and it is another change. The injured players have to step up to the mark because we need them back, we need the bodies.”

Mitchell Dickenson was handed his first Football League start on Saturday, starting in central defence before moving to left-back early on.

“That’s all we could do,” said head coach Pennock. “We have three fit defenders and that’s it. Ollie Muldoon played right-back when we changed it. It is what it is, we have to move on and still be positive.”

Oshilaja was again struggling with a groin injury.

Pennock said: “I thought he played really well Tuesday (against Bolton) but he came in on Thursday feeling it and he couldn’t play. That was very disappointing."

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