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Gillingham 1 Crewe Alexandra 0: Reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris

Tuesday night’s win for Gillingham's new boss Neil Harris meant even more considering the crazy build-up to his first game in charge.

The Gills registered their first win since mid-October, beating Crewe Alexandra 1-0 at Priestfield.

Harris only agreed to come in as Gillingham manager late on Sunday night and didn’t meet the players until Monday, a day when he was also having to deal with the final hours of the transfer window.

There was little time to prepare for a six-pointer against another team embroiled in a fight for survival inside the League 1 relegation zone. Victory moved the Gills level on points with Crewe, now eight points from safety.

Harris said: “It wasn’t ideal and the build-up has been difficult, relentless, coming into the football club is a privileged position, especially at this proud football club and coming in on the transfer deadline day, I never envisaged how difficult it would be.

“We had players who could be going out, players could have come in, it was carnage for the day. We finished at 11pm on Monday and there was a game the next day that we had to prepare for.

“Credit for the victory goes to the players, the game plan we had for 45 minutes was pretty good, second half it was about endeavour and desire to want to win, putting bodies on the line and defending heroically and ultimately the best chances did fall to us.”

The winning goal came from the penalty spot when Danny Lloyd converted with 17 minutes gone. Gillingham had the better of the first half but were up against it in the second, although Vadaine Oliver could have scored a second, planting a shot against woodwork.

“There was relief at the end for everyone,” said Harris, who celebrated with fist pumps towards a delighted Rainham End, with fans staying back at the end to soak up a long-awaited win.

“In the second half, especially the last half hour, I felt the edginess in the stadium, we all did, we saw it on the pitch as well with the players, they were so desperate to win a game of football.

“We have come together last minute, some of it off the cuff, and I am really proud of the players. We will be better than that, I can assure people of that, hopefully it provides the same results but we will improve going forward.

“Hard work and honesty costs nothing and the fans saw it.

“There is no overnight success, no promises on what we are going to achieve and I was very clear with that in the messages during my interview with the club, I am not going to promise we will do this and that, it is about one game at a time and we took care of that (first) game.”

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