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Gillingham take on Portsmouth this weekend reeling from a midweek defeat at AFC Wimbledon

Gillingham head to Portsmouth this Saturday with renewed vigour following a team meeting in the wake of their midweek defeat at Wimbledon.

There was plenty of frustration in the Gills camp after a 1-0 defeat to the Dons left their play-off aspiration all but over.

Jordan Graham in action against Portsmouth when they met at Priestfield in October Picture: Barry Goodwin
Jordan Graham in action against Portsmouth when they met at Priestfield in October Picture: Barry Goodwin

Boss Steve Evans had the players in the following day - on what is usually their day off - and skipper Kyle Dempsey led a team meeting that helped draw a line under the midweek defeat.

Evans is now looking forward to their trip to a team sitting fourth in the table.

He said: “It was almost disbelief and shock when the referee blew his whistle (at Wimbledon). We didn’t get anything from a game we were so far infront of and that was disappointing.

“The captain was one of the first to speak (after the game) and he said we can’t be having all that play and not get anything from the game. If we can find that consistency then we can get into that top 10. We have a lot of work to do now.

“We had a good meeting on Wednesday, they were in bright and early and the captain spoke really well. He is maturing into a fine young man. He spoke well about the inconsistencies. We will see if that little meeting has worked for the group.”

Evans ruled out the play-offs following the Wimbledon defeat but with a third of the season still remaining, anything remains positive. The Gills would certainly have to start putting back to back wins together, something they have struggled to do this season.

“I was so down the other night,” Evans admitted.

“Our aspirations have always been to improve on last year, that is the real target we have always had in the dressing room because we felt, and I still feel, there is going to be nothing to split 10th and the play-offs.

“We were all disappointed coming out of Wimbledon because the first half was a half we didn’t turn up, we didn’t play with any intensity, saying that we didn’t have any problems dealing with what was there. Second half was one way domination.

“We had a great meeting with the boys on Wednesday, led by our captain, who was brilliant, who spoke before anyone else about how we all need to be more consistent as players and how we need to deliver. The aim going forward is consistency in our performances. If we get that we will be in the top 10.”

Looking ahead to the match against Portsmouth, Evans said: "We can go there with a lot of freedom and we will look to be more expressive. Let’s go and play like we like to play, with no fear, if it goes against us then we can always regroup.

"Everyone loves going to Fratton Park (home of Portsmouth) and if you don't then you are not a football person. It is an old stadium, it is classic, and for atmosphere it is probably the best in the league. They have good players, a very experienced manager and a brilliant no.2 in Joe Gallen. It will be a tough day for us but we are looking forward to it."

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