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Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh reacts to 2-0 defeat by Port Vale in League 1

Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh has called on fans to stick with the team as they bid to hold on to a League 1 play-off place.

Edinburgh felt half-time boos as Gills trailed Port Vale 2-0 were aimed at his side rather than referee Ross Joyce and considered the reaction harsh.

But tremendous second-half backing lifted Edinburgh and that's what he wants for the run-in.

Gillingham's David Kerslake with boss Justin EdinburghPicture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham's David Kerslake with boss Justin EdinburghPicture: Barry Goodwin

Gills, in sixth, are only two points clear of Barnsley after back-to-back home defeats for the first time under Edinburgh.

He said: "Again we've thrown everything we're capable of doing. It's probably not run for us on the day.

"I thought if we could get an early goal in the second half then the game might have swung in a different direction but it wasn't to be.

"We're hugely disappointed, the crowd were today and I understand their frustration.

"It's 16 months I've been here and we've never, ever suffered back-to-back defeats.

"I know they're hurting, like we are, and the group of players in that dressing room are.

"I don't want those fans to lose sight of that because I've always said if we're going to achieve anything, it's going to be together.

"We've needed them throughout, and they've been there, and I didn't particularly feel the reaction we had at half-time was just.

"I know it was a bad scoreline but those players have given everything they've got and I just didn't feel that was necessary today.

"But, credit to them, I think they regrouped at half-time, as we did, and they certainly did everything they possibly could to try and get us back in the game."

Deji Oshilaja tends to his injured eye on Saturday Picture: Barry Goodwin
Deji Oshilaja tends to his injured eye on Saturday Picture: Barry Goodwin

Edinburgh felt Gills should have had a penalty for the incident that ended Deji Oshilaja's afternoon, the defender's eye ballooning after being caught by a high boot from Carl Dickinson as the Vale man went to clear.

Oshilaja appears to have no chance of playing at Rochdale on Tuesday.

Edinburgh said: "It's quite clearly a penalty. Anywhere else on the pitch it would have been a yellow card and a free-kick.

"It's dangerous play. The defender's foot is above his shoulder, Deji's going to head the ball in the net, he heads the ball on to the boy's foot and it goes out but he's obviously made further contact into his eye.

"Regardless of the injury that Deji picked up, and having to leave the field of play, it's a straightforward penalty.

"It's a difficult one because I think he's burst the vein in his eyelid.

"We can't drain that because that would cause further bleeding and we've got to allow the vein to heal, so we're really in the lap of the gods and hopefully they'll be kind to us."

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