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Gillingham v Tranmere Rovers preview: Assistant coach Robbie Stockdale looks ahead to League 2 match at Priestfield

Gillingham will be hoping a poor display on Tuesday night is just a blip as they look to get back on track.

Prior to the Gills’ 2-0 loss at Barrow in the week they had been picking up the pace as they chase down a play-off spot in League 2.

Assistant Robbie Stockdale and head coach Stephen Clemence plot a return to form against Tranmere this Saturday Picture: @Julian_KPI
Assistant Robbie Stockdale and head coach Stephen Clemence plot a return to form against Tranmere this Saturday Picture: @Julian_KPI

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They went to Barrow having beaten Salford and Wrexham back-to-back and taken a point off the then-leaders Stockport. A 3-1 away win at Notts County was fairly recent too.

But hopes of making it three wins in a row ended as they found no way past a stubborn Barrow side on Tuesday night.

“Let’s hope it’s a blip,” said Stockdale. “We travelled back on Wednesday, the players were back in on Thursday and the next focus is putting in a better performance than we did Tuesday and getting back to the levels of the previous few games. If we do that I genuinely think we can be a match for anyone in this division, which we have shown.

“It is about making sure we reach those standards and that’s what we drive the players to do each and every day.

“We will pick a team that we think and expect are going to win the game but there will be no excuse from tiredness, that’s out the window now, it’s back to business.”

The Gills had followed a game at Salford last Saturday with a trip to Barrow in the week, returning home inbetween those fixtures. Both games were played on heavy pitches.

They are back on home soil against a Tranmere side sitting 18th in the table after a disappointing season, comfortably clear of the bottom two.

Stockdale said: “We were in good form going into Tuesday, whether it was heavy pitch, in hindsight maybe changing a couple of players might have helped, but you also feel those players deserved another opportunity and sometimes as a player you get into a rhythm of playing.

“I am pretty level headed and there is always room for improvement, I showed the players clips of where I felt they could get better after Wrexham and Salford, that is our job, we spend a lot of times analysing our own games, it was a frustrating night where we didn’t quite reach those standards and hopefully we will again.

League 2 table

“This is a competitive division, we went to Tranmere quite early in our time at the club, they beat us 3-1 on the day, we felt we had lots of the ball and they are another stubborn team to break down with some good players, but it is about us.

“Since the final whistle on Tuesday my focus was ‘where did we go wrong? What could we do better? How are we going to put it into practice against Tranmere’.

“If we play to our levels we are a match for anyone in this division, we just came off it a little Tuesday, no dramas, we’ll get back on it.”

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