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Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence has demanded a reaction from his team at Bradford City this Saturday after the shambles at Harrogate Town

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence has warned that futures are on the line after witnessing an unacceptable Easter Monday performance.

The Gills went from 1-0 up in the first half at Harrogate to losing 5-1 and seeing the club’s promotion hopes for the season all but extinguished.

Gillingham's first-team head coach Stephen Clemence Picture: @Julian_KPI
Gillingham's first-team head coach Stephen Clemence Picture: @Julian_KPI

More: Clemence ‘disturbed’ by Gillingham performance

Clemence – who scrapped a planned two-day break after Monday’s defeat – accepts they probably have to win their last four games to stand any chance of making the League 2 play-offs.

His side have won just one of their previous seven and head to Bradford City this Saturday knowing it’s now win or bust for the remaining games.

“I need to see a reaction from them,” said Clemence.

“I will get ready for the next game but also I have got one eye on the future as well.

“I need to see how the boys react because one thing is for sure, I want to be successful at this football club and performances like that are not what I want to be a part of.

“They need to produce a lot better than that under my watch.

“Players are always under pressure to perform, there is always someone watching and you have to perform for your future, of course you do.

“It’s the first time since I have been here where I have seen a bit of weakness and they’ve dipped under the pressure, whatever you want to call it, [and] made individual mistakes.

“We can’t have any more days like that again. If we do, we have to make changes don’t we?”

League 2 table

Clemence said: “We are going to have to win every game and what I knew [before Monday] was that if we went there and won we would still be in the top seven with four games to go.

“I think the players would have taken that at the start of the season had you asked.

“We haven’t been able to do it and that is three or four times now in the last five or six weeks where we’ve been seventh and we haven’t backed it up with a victory. We haven’t even got a point.

“Three or four times we’ve been seventh and had to go somewhere to get a result and we haven’t managed to do it on any occasion and that tells me a lot.”

It was comfortably the worst 45 minutes for Clemence since taking on the head coach role.

“It was very tough,” he said. “Momentum is a key thing in football, it always has been, the momentum was all with Harrogate [in the second half] and it was very hard to stop that flow.

“You hope the boys can weather it, and if you get beat, you don’t get beaten by five, you don’t go under like that.”

Clemence had recently switched from a safety-first 3-5-2 formation to a more expansive 4-3-2-1 and his team looked more attack-minded. On Monday it all went wrong, leaving him questioning which way to go.

He said: “We tried to go to a back four to try and be more on the front foot, but when you go to a back four it does expose other areas of our play, so that is something we have to look at.

“I don’t think anyone can knock on my door, can they, if I make changes.”

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