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Gills youth coach thrust into spotlight

RETURN: John Hills
RETURN: John Hills

Cardiff v Gillingham

DARREN HARE, Gillingham's Head of Youth, is likely to be the main man in the dug out against Cardiff on Saturday.

He is part of the four-man selection committee taking charge at the weekend, but with Iwan Roberts and Paul Smith likely to be involved on the pitch, and chairman Paul Scally in the stands, Hare will take centre stage on the touchline.

Player-coach Iwan Roberts, who has been taking training since the departure of caretaker manager John Gorman on Tuesday, says Hare has an important role to play.

Roberts said: "Darren is coming to Cardiff because if myself and Paul start, we wouldn’t have anybody on the bench shouting information.

"You can see a lot more from the side of the pitch than you can when your involved and your minds are going at a hundred miles an hour. It’s vital that we do have someone on the side."

With former boss Andy Hessenthaler still troubled by an ankle injury and having been taken ill during the week, the Gills look like being without his services on the field, but he may still have some input off it.

Roberts said: "I speak to Andy a lot on the phone and he's got so much experience. If we're struggling we can always ask his opinion and he'll help us out."

The management team has plenty to ponder ahead of the match and are facing a shortage of strikers.

Darren Byfield is ruled out with a knee injury and Darius Henderson is suspended. Tommy Johnson, the hero against Nottingham Forest last weekend, could be given his first start in attack.

Other injury concerns surround goalkeeper Jason Brown, who will miss the next six weeks with a hamstring strain, and Nicky Southall is struggling with a calf problem.

But better news is the return to fitness of full back John Hills, who has been in training this week and will feature at some point during the match.

He spoke to KM-fm Sports Editor Simon Watts ahead of the game...

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