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Reaction: Gillingham manager Steve Lovell on their 2-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell conceded that the better team won on Saturday.

His team were a goal down after 10 minutes and two goals behind by the break.

The Gills never gave up the fight, harshly having a goal ruled out for offside in stoppage-time, but leaders Wigan were always in charge.

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Callum Reilly crowded out at Wigan Picture Andy Payton

Callum Reilly crowded out at Wigan Picture: Andy Payton

Report: Wigan Athletic 2 Gillingham 0

“We lost it in the first half, in the first 20 minutes,” said Lovell, whose side had won their previous four.

“They were on us quickly, they stopped us from passing the ball and we gave a few things away.

"We didn’t start as bright as we had been doing. That was the disappointing thing but the lads gave everything, they couldn’t have given any more than they did.

“I think perhaps we played with a little fear, which surprised me. I don’t know whether going to Wigan, a big club, might have had an effect, but I would be surprised if it was that.

Tom Eaves denied by the woodwork early on Picture Andy Payton

Tom Eaves denied by the woodwork early on Picture: Andy Payton

“We have played a lot better than that previously and had we played anything like we had done previously, we might have nicked something from  the game.

"But I am not taking anything away from Wigan, they were excellent, a very good side.

“There were some very good players out there on show for them, Paul Cook (the Wigan boss) has a really good squad of players and that is why they are where they are.

“They deserved it on the day, they were better than us, especially first half. Tom (Eaves) hit the post and who knows if that goes in? It might have given the boys a boost, but overall, over the 90 minutes, they certainly deserved the victory.”

Will Grigg was in the right place at the right time to net Wigan’s opener, something Lovell wanted to see from his own striker.

Lee Martin and Mark Byrne look to combine Picture Andy Payton

Lee Martin and Mark Byrne look to combine Picture: Andy Payton

Lovell said: “The difference is he was in the place at the right time and Josh Parker perhaps in the first half wasn’t.

“Tom (Eaves) has gone down the line, crossed a great ball and that’s where your centre forward should be. Josh knows, I have had a little pop at him, he is a centre forward and he has to be in the box. If he is in there it’s a tap-in for him.”

Parker certainly wasn’t the only off-form player.

Lovell said: “We didn’t get the ball in behind them at all first half, which we do normally, that is our plan. For some reason we didn’t get the centre halves turning back towards their own goal.

“Second half we did and we caused them a lot of problems. We will learn from it.”

 

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