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Gillingham v Wimbledon preview: Head coach Stephen Clemence looks ahead to midweek League 2 match at Priestfield

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence has demanded a reaction from his players tonight.

Defeat on Saturday at Tranmere leaves the Gills sitting a place below their midweek visitors Wimbledon ahead of a meeting between the sides at Priestfield. Goal difference separates the two teams just outside the play-off places in League 2.

Head coach Stephen Clemence, pictured with assistant boss Robbie Stockdale, wants better from his team after a disappointing weekend Picture: Barry Goodwin
Head coach Stephen Clemence, pictured with assistant boss Robbie Stockdale, wants better from his team after a disappointing weekend Picture: Barry Goodwin

The Gills will be looking to put a 3-1 defeat behind them.

Clemence said: “The players know, they are not happy themselves, they are very disappointed like myself. It was a long way for our supporters to travel and (for the team) to perform like that, all of us as a team, me included, it wasn’t acceptable, we know that, we will try and react on Tuesday now.

“I have said to the boys, I need to see a reaction, the supporters will want to see a reaction and I will be demanding that as well.

“Far too many times this season we win a game and then we lose one, now we need to start finding a bit of consistency and we will but it will take time.

“Sometimes you get results which you don’t see coming and in that first half (at Tranmere) I didn’t see that coming, but we have another game and we will be looking to put it right.”

Gillingham haven’t come back for a positive result in the league this season once they have trailed. That was no different at the weekend.

The Gills had been relatively comfortable against Tranmere, without being much of a threat themselves, despite dominating with the ball. But a goal late in the opening half and two more shortly after the restart left Clemence’s men with too much to do.

Clemence said: “We made some poor judgments, some errors on their goals and we haven’t defended our box well enough.

“Yes, we had more control of the football, which is what I want us to continue to do but I don’t think it is anything to do with the style change, I just think we have been done by some basic mistakes which we have to cut out.

“I felt we were fully in control (when it was goalless), probably as comfortable as I have been in the dugout since I arrived at Gillingham, but one ball over the top and the guy finishes it well. There were moments in the game we have to learn from and we will.”

Wimbledon enjoyed an impressive weekend win, beating high-flying Notts County 4-2. The Dons led 2-0 at the break, conceded two quickfire goals midway through the half and scored twice more late on to clinch the points.

“They are a good side,” said the Gills boss. “Johnnie Jackson is in charge of them and I know him from when I was at Spurs.

“It will be a difficult game but like I always say we will be looking to take them on and if we play like we did in spells (on Saturday) and do that for 90 minutes, I am sure we’ll be okay, but we need to cut out basic errors.”

Clemence will consider whether to make changes after errors at the back. Right-back Robbie McKenzie was the spare man at Tranmere, making the trip without being involved.

Central defender Max Ehmer could also be knocking on the door for a return after defensive frailties were on show.

Clemence isn’t short of options elsewhere, should he wish to make changes.

Captain Shaun Williams is yet to feature in the league for Clemence and Tim Dieng - making a positive impact off the bench on Saturday - is awaiting his first start under the new boss. Striker Ashley Nadesan didn’t travel on Saturday.

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