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Stimson closing in on first anniversary

Mark Stimson has had more rows with players than ever before
Mark Stimson has had more rows with players than ever before

Mark Stimson completes his first year in charge at Gillingham this weekend, confirming his desire to make the club a real force again.

He admits much has changed at Priestfield in the past 12 months but believes he now has a squad of players who want to succeed as professional footballers.

“A year in the job in the modern trend is quite something and relegation stands out as a major disappointment,” said Stimson.

“But after assessing the squad in the first three or four weeks in the job, I knew it would be an achievement to stay up.

“It was hard to get players out and bring others in early on but that’s gone and we have to look forward.

“ I have now got good players, who all want success and to get the club back where it belongs.

“When I took over, I thought a lot of players didn’t care whether we won or lost and this group are earning wages a million miles different to them but there’s incentives and for me that is what it’s all about.

“You can’t lose a game and get the same money as when you win. We have to make sure we are winners and get rewarded.”

Asked if he had changed as a manager after a year, Stimson added: “I have probably had more rows with players than I have had before, which surprises me. They were about principles that mattered to me and what I thought was the way forward.

“Before I have only worked with people who have been desperate to be play in the Football League and will do absolutely anything for you.

“Michael Kightly (Wolves), Aaron McLean (Peterborough) and Gary Hooper (Scunthorpe) were all prepared to do that and are now playing higher than us.”

“We have got a few here now who will go and play at a higher level. Simeon Jackson is a perfect example and is the best pro here.”

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