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Barrow v Gillingham preview: Head coach Stephen Clemence looks ahead to League 2 match at Holker Street

Gillingham face a crucial battle in their promotion hopes tonight with a game at play-off rivals Barrow.

The match is set up nicely following a win for the Gills at Salford on Saturday, which saw them move back up to seventh in the League 2 table, just a point and a place ahead of their midweek opponents.

Stephen Clemence. Gillingham v Swindon Town, 13 February 2024. Picture: @Julian_KPI
Stephen Clemence. Gillingham v Swindon Town, 13 February 2024. Picture: @Julian_KPI

Gillingham are full of confidence after back-to-back wins over Wrexham and Salford and a run of three games without conceding. Stephen Clemence’s men have lost just twice in their last 12 outings.

Clemence said: “It is a game to look forward to and I try to look one game at a time. Let’s go up to Barrow, their game at Crawley (on Saturday) was called off, they have benefited from that extra bit of rest but we won’t make that an excuse, we are in a confident mood.

“We were confident going to Salford and we will be confident of going there and getting a result.

“We have been okay for a while now, there have been one or two performances where we have played teams at the bottom of the league and people have expected us to roll them over but you have to earn every point in this division.

“We can only achieve something if we are together and there will still be tricky results between now and the end of the season but if we all stay together, all as one, we will have a chance to be successful at this football club.

“It’s nice to be on that run and very nice to put back-to-back wins together and when you do that you tend to move up the table. I am really happy.”

League 2 table

It’s been a busy period for the Gills, returning back from Salford on Saturday night and Clemence spent Sunday studying the opposition. The team trained on Monday ahead of a train journey north.

With seven games in March, there are plenty of points up for grabs, but Clemence insists he’s not looking beyond their midweek trip to Barrow.

He said: “You concentrate on the next game, that’s all you do, you can’t get ahead of yourself.

“I have been in the game a long time but there is no way, even as a player I am thinking about what’s happening in five or six games time.

“We want to be successful and we want to try and get into the play-offs or can we do better? Whatever that is. The only thing that takes care of all of that is the next game.”

While the Gills have found some consistency, Barrow have too, but of the wrong kind, with three successive defeats. Their last game was at Salford - visiting the Peninsula Stadium just before the Gills - coming away with a 5-3 defeat. They have lost to lowly Forest Green Rovers before that.

While Barrow’s game was postponed on Saturday the Gills battled it out on Salford’s sticky pitch which will have left them tired but Clemence said: “There will have been some tiredness but thankfully we got ourselves a couple of goals ahead and I could make a few substitutions to give a few of the boys a rest.”

George Lapslie (hamstring) was left out at the weekend after only just returning to training while the Gills have yet to give an update on the injury status of striker Josh Andrews who has yet to feature since signing.

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