Published: 08:00, 21 October 2020
| Updated: 18:19, 21 October 2020
Gillingham are still a work in progress says the assistant manager.
The Gills have suffered back to back defeats, losing 2-0 to MK Dons and by the same scoreline against Portsmouth, and Paul Raynor admits it will take time to find the right formula.
Last season the Gills won just one of their first six league encounters and after 15 summer signings there is much work to be done to get it right again.
Raynor said: “We have got a young squad, we have got some young defenders, they are learning on the job.
“Last year we dropped on a system after about eight or nine games and it worked for us. We will find a system that works and personnel that works. That is our job to do and we will go and do it.
“We will reassess it. We have already done it in the dressing room about how can we improve at the weekend. We will do it. We will find a way, we will keep trying different things, we will work on lots of things and will find a way of winning matches."
Gillingham switched their central defensive pair on Tuesday night, dropping both Jack Tucker and Zech Medley in favour of Declan Drysdale and Christian Maghoma. There were also changes in midfield following the weekend loss to MK Dons.
Conceding two early goals against Portsmouth on Tuesday left them in trouble, however, and they were unable to recover, despite several late chances after a switch in formation.
The players were kept inside the changing room for longer than normal after the match so they could discuss the current issues. Raynor insists they have to treat the young group different to others, however.
He said: “If you tick people off, they are not a group you can shout and bawl at. With experienced players you can give them a bit of an ear bashing, this group you have to cajole them, you have to teach them, you have got to help them along the way and they are learning on the job. We knew that.”
After seven games the Gills are sitting 12th in the League 1 table, a couple of places better off than last season and with an extra point in the bag.
Things will look better still if they can beat Fleetwood on Saturday, a team who were also beaten on Tuesday night (losing 1-0 to Accrington) and one who are expected to be doing better than they are.
The Gills follow that up with games against top-five sides Ipswich Town and Sunderland.
Raynor said: “We have said this is probably the hardest league 1 that there has been for a long, long time, when you look at the quality of the teams like Portsmouth, Hull, Sunderland and Ipswich, the list goes on.
“It is tough, with a young squad they are going to have to learn very quickly but there were positive signs. We were really disappointed on Saturday, but there were lost of positives Tuesday, particularly second half.”
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