Gills boss Ady Pennock decided against naming Josh Wright in Saturday’s squad because the player's 'head wasn’t right’.
Wright was disappointed at being left out of the starting line-up for the game against Southend.
The midfielder, who was named Gills player-of-the-year last season, wasn't happy at being named on the bench but after the game insisted that he never refused.
In his post-match press conference Pennock said that Wright “didn’t want to be on the bench” and that the player was “very disappointed.”
Pennock added: “He said his head wasn’t with it. I can’t have anyone on the bench if their head isn’t right, just incase I needed them in the first few minutes of the game.
“He was very disappointed at being left out and didn’t want to be on the bench. That is the reason (he was left out).
"Josh Wright has been top drawer but it’s a decision I made and I understand his frustration.”
Wright was keen to make clear that, despite his disappointment, he wouldn't have refused to be named on the bench.
He said: “I was angry and upset because I’m passionate and want to do well for the club.
“I’m fully committed and it was a decision made by the staff, rather than me. I would always give my all for the club.”
Pennock named Billy Bingham in the starting XI, after he returned from injury.
“It was a football decision,” said the manager, on Wright omission.
“He wasn’t happy with it. We will deal with it on Monday.”