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Gillingham boss Steve Lovell will take cup-tie approach for remaining league games in March

By Luke Cawdell

It’s cup football now for the Gills, says boss Steve Lovell.

Gillingham’s 3-1 comeback win at Portsmouth on Saturday has kept alive the dream of a League 1 play-off place this season.

It remains an outside chance, but Lovell isn’t ruling anything out, with just five points now separating themselves and the top six.

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Lee Martin's double at Fratton Park helped keep Gills in the fight for a play-off place Picture: Ady Kerry
Lee Martin's double at Fratton Park helped keep Gills in the fight for a play-off place Picture: Ady Kerry

“March is a massive month and every game is a cup tie,” said Lovell.

“We won the game on Saturday and now the next one is a massive ‘cup tie’, next week. Blackburn (top of the league) at home, it doesn’t get much better than that.

“We have 10 games left and anything can still happen.”

Despite the optimism, Lovell still knows that survival is the first aim – and that means getting past the 50-point mark.

“I still maintain 50 points is my aim, one point to go,” said Lovell, whose team sit on 49 points now.

“We’re not safe yet, no, my points tally hasn’t changed. We still need a few more.”

The Gills had to come back from 1-0 down at half-time.

Gillingham didn’t have a shot on target in the first half but roared back in the second half, clinching a first win in four. Lovell admitted he had to raise his voice at the break.

He said: “I can’t fault them for their effort but the only point I made, there were too many balls going into the box first half that we had nobody attacking and I did make a point of that, a very aggressive point.

“We do it all week in training, we get balls into the box and get across the keeper. First half we didn’t. Second half we did. That is the difference, in the boxes.

“Defensively we haven’t got a problem. We throw bodies at it and defend well but in the other box perhaps we don’t throw ourselves in and risk getting hurt.”

Gillingham were backed by 1,551 fans on Saturday, their biggest away following this season.

“It is great to give them something to cheer about,” added Lovell. “We had great support, fantastic.”

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