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Stimson: It's time to get serious

Mark Stimson says the fun side of pre-season is over
Mark Stimson says the fun side of pre-season is over

Gillingham manager Mark Stimson is ready to get down to business after completing a trio of practice games.

Stimson has told his squad to prepare for upset as he selects his best 11 for their next match against Ipswich on Wednesday night.

Two defeats in a week to Blue Square Premier sides has left fans questioning the team’s capabilities but Stimson insists the fun is now over and it’s time for the serious stuff.

"We can move on now," he said. "The fun side of the pre-season is over.

"The boys will come in on Monday and it’s the period for buckling down now.

"I’ve been every player’s mate probably for the last two weeks and now when we make the decisions on Wednesday we’ll have a few people sulking and feeling down.

"I’ve given everyone an opportunity and now I’ll make my mind up on the 11 and see where we go.

"On Wednesday and Saturday you will see the best 11 and let’s see how they perform. People who miss out on that will get a chance against Folkestone on Saturday and Aveley so the door won’t be shut.

"I said to the players that they will get another chance to impress me."

Stimson’s side host Ipswich on Wednesday and Birmingham on Saturday, and the Gills boss knows he needs his side to improve on the disappointing defeat at Grays.

"We’re going to need to up our game," he said. "If we don’t we’ll get totally embarrassed because Ipswich are a fantastic football team and Birmingham were a Premier League side last season.

"They are great games for the players to test themselves in against top players and they can learn from that."

* Stimson to take a look at fringe players - click here *

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