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Marlon not in Hess's best books

MARLON KING: on his way when transfer window opens?
MARLON KING: on his way when transfer window opens?

GILLINGHAM boss Andy Hessenthaler has dropped the biggest hint yet that he is fast losing patience with star striker Marlon King.

As supporters questioned his wisdom in bringing on King at the start of the second half at Bolton, only to see him break down 27 minutes later, the Gills manager set the record straight over the player’s on-going hamstring problem. And he confessed King he could be out for up to a month.

Hessenthaler remained diplomatic but disappointed when King broke down after 21 minutes in the 1-0 defeat at Wigan on October 18.

But he could barely contain his anger after King broke down again at the Reebok Stadium in midweek.

“I’m not happy,” said Hessenthaler. “Marlon trained and said he felt fine. He trained with the physio, said it was okay and now it’s gone again."

He stressed: “I’m not having a go at the physio because ultimately it is the player’s responsibility. Marlon’s a big player for us and we need him fit.

"I think he needs three to four weeks’ rest to build it up and get it right because we can’t keep having this whereby he comes back, thinks it’s right, overstretches and it goes again.”

King has told friends the problem is more to do with his back. Should King leave, as has been widely predicted when the January transfer window opens, the club’s shortage of strikers will be further hindered with the loss of Mamady Sidibe for three weeks on international duty with Mali in the African Nations Cup.

Hessenthaler conceded: “If Marlon moves on and big Mama is playing in the African Nations Cup, we’ll have to bring a forward in.”

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