Head coach Stephen Clemence is hoping to bring an entertaining style of football to Gillingham but isn’t afraid to ‘win ugly’ if that’s what’s needed.
Clemence wants the Gills to keep the ball more often than they have been doing but accepts they will have to mix their styles to get results in League 2.
He’s had a full week to try and get some of his ideas over to the squad this week, his first without a midweek game.
“I have seen real enthusiasm on the training ground,” he said.
“I think they are enjoying how we are trying to do things, there has been a good intensity from them and when we are doing our tactical thing they are trying to take it onboard and they are listening and asking questions.
“They seem to have a good understanding of it and we follow that up with video work. We are trying to get as much into them as possible, but you also can’t overload people, you give them too much and they will forget everything, you have to build slowly and make steps every week.
“A lot of people are saying about a possession-based style, yes we want to have more of the ball and we want to pass the ball to each other, we want to make sure they are making good angles for their team-mates and they are looking to get on the ball, they aren’t all running away from it, but let’s not get away from that we need to get results and that is the most important thing.
“I have said before, I am about winning football matches and there are different ways to win, different ways to score goals and collectively we all have to get better at that, whether that’s from set-plays, crosses into the box, individual brilliance, whatever it is.
“There are lots of ways to score, we want to have more of the ball but we want to win football matches and we will do whatever that takes to do that.
“There are lots of different styles in this division, I knew that before I came, you have to be adaptable and sometimes you might be expecting something (from the opposition) and it changes again when you see how they line up.
“What we are working on at the moment the boys all seem to be taking it onboard. I have seen some good steps that we have taken in the last couple of weeks which can hopefully help us going forward.”
The Gills have already started to show how they want to play under Clemence, with the defenders playing the ball out from the back more often, but the head coach knows possession alone doesn’t win matches.
He said: “Most supporters want to go home on a Saturday night, knowing their team has won.
“There is a way of playing which I definitely want to bring to the football club but it is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight.
“If we can win playing an attractive style of football, perfect, but if we have to win and it’s ugly and you have to stand up and be counted and defend for long periods of the game, then we also have to be prepared to do that.
“We are not going to dominate every opponent we come up against, it is a very tough league we’re playing in and the lads have to be prepared to win in different ways.”