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Gillingham 0 Crawley 2: Reaction from Gills head coach Stephen Clemence after League 2 loss at Priestfield

Gillingham were booed off after a Boxing Day defeat to Crawley Town and the head coach insists they are just as frustrated as the fans.

Stephen Clemence watched his goal-shy side miss some good opportunities against Crawley, dominating large chunks of the game, but ultimately losing 2-0.

Gillingham's Ashley Nadesan with a chance against Crawley Picture: @Julian_KPI
Gillingham's Ashley Nadesan with a chance against Crawley Picture: @Julian_KPI

Report: Gillingham 0 Crawley 2

“I’m disappointed and I understand everyone’s frustration,” he said following the loss. “I am just as frustrated and believe me, we couldn't be working harder on certain things on the training ground.

“We obviously tried to change the shape in this game (going 3-5-2 for the first time under the coach) to give us more of an attacking threat.

“At the end of the game we had a number of attacking players on the pitch and unfortunately that is still our Achilles heel, scoring a goal and it has got to improve.”

Clemence felt the switch to a five-man defence and two up top might have been the reason for their slow start to the game but the big problem was in front of goal.

The Gills had 16 attempts, three on target, but couldn’t find the net. Crawley scored with two of their three on-target efforts.

“We didn’t start the game well enough,” he acknowledged. “They were on top, that might have been because we changed the system, but I felt the last 15 minutes of the first half we got on top of them.

“In the second half we were the better team, and we had four very good chances and we haven’t taken any of them.

“We had more crosses in the box, more corners, all of those things, but the only thing that matters is you get beaten 2-0.

Gillingham v Crawley Town Picture: @Julian_KPI
Gillingham v Crawley Town Picture: @Julian_KPI

“I know the last two results, away at Forest Green (a goalless draw against the second bottom side) and home to Crawley, it is not something I accept.

“I know that is not good enough for this football club and I have come here to be successful, as the lads want to be successful, I can assure everyone we are just as disappointed as those fans on the terraces.

“I felt in the game the fans were right behind the team and long may that continue, we have a great crowd here at Gillingham, it can be a really difficult place to come for opponents.

“I have spoken to the (Crawley) manager and he said that we really had stopped them, their team tends to have more of the ball against opponents, so I know there was a lot right in the game, and I think our fans can see that, but I understand their frustration that we can’t score again and we’re on the end of a disappointing result.”

The Gills, the lowest scorers in the division, have now failed to find the net in their last three games.

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