Published: 18:00, 05 January 2019
| Updated: 09:28, 06 January 2019
Steve Lovell was thrilled to have claimed a Premier League scalp at the weekend.
The Gills manager watched his team give their all to claim an FA Cup third round win over Cardiff City.
Lovell said: “I’m very pleased for the club, the players, the supporters, everyone because it’s a big result for us.
“We have beaten a Premier League side and we have had to be at our best to do it.
“They gave everything and I couldn’t ask for any more, which I know they do every week. Sometimes things don’t go your way but there is one thing I will say about the group of players we have got, they will give everything.
“They might miss a pass and might miss a goal or a shot or chance but I can’t fault their effort.
“In the end we got a good goal, we could have had a couple more in the second half, so could they. Cardiff had a lot of opportunities, we defended very well.
“Credit has to be given to our defenders. Tomas Holy made one good save in the first half but apart from that I can’t remember him making any saves as such, it was just our defenders infront and perhaps their forwards not taking their opportunities.
“You do have a bit of luck, some breaks. Last week I said at Southend, sometimes your breaks do come. We didn’t have it at Southend (after having an equalising goal ruled out) but we had a couple against Cardiff and that’s part of the game.”
Lovell’s men played cautiously in the first half before attacking more in the second, as the manager tinkered with the shape.
It was a plan that paid off.
He said: “First half, you can’t put a team out there and take it to the opposition because if you go and play open they will hurt you.
“They are Premier League and they play against Premier League clubs every week, if we did that we would have got hammered.
“We had a game plan where we would play a 3-4-3 which turned into a 5-4-1 defensively first half and second half we changed and went to two upfront with Josh Parker just in behind. We knew second half we could get at them down the sides where their full-backs like to push on.
“Sometimes the plans work, that as a manager and a coach is what you love, when they do work.”
Lovell looked calm on the sidelines throughout but admitted he was anything but inside.
He said: “I am fairly calm anyway, on the outside.
“On the inside emotions are running high but we scored the goal, we still had a long time to go and you stay focused rather than go celebrating. I wanted that to rub off on the players, to keep concentrating and working hard and that’s what they did.
“We could have had a couple more at the end. We hit the bar and Josh Parker missed a good opportunity but the result is 1-0, we win the game and we are into the fourth round.”
Full reaction to Gills' big win in this Monday's Medway Messenger newspaper