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Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence wants side to maintain quality of performance from FA Cup win over Charlton Athletic but admits they can’t entertain all the time

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence expects his side to maintain their weekend standards in League 2 - but can’t promise the same type of entertainment.

The Gills dominated higher-league opponents Charlton at Priestfield on Saturday in the FA Cup - winning a thrilling game 2-0 - and they now turn their attention back on their push for promotion.

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence. Picture: Barry Goodwin

On Saturday they face the long trip north to play Barrow - a side who will be smarting from defeat against Maidstone United last weekend in the cup.

Clemence’s side are in the top seven, holding the final play-off place in the division after beating AFC Wimbledon 1-0 last time out in the league, a game lacking much to get excited about. The head coach has been tasked with getting the team playing more entertaining football and scoring more goals.

He said: “They can do it but there will also be games going forward like the game against Wimbledon, there will be plenty of those in League 2.

“No game is the same in football, people will set out to stop us, like we tried to stop Charlton. Some players will play eight or nine out of 10, but you don’t always play well as a football player, sometimes you have to grind out a result and that is what we did last Tuesday.

“We played really well on Saturday, some good stuff and deserved it, like the home game before against Salford. There will still be some games going forward where it is going to be tight, that is when we will need our fans behind us to get us over the line.

“They have set some high standards and now we have to keep up to those high standards.

“I think we are making small steps forward all of the time.

“It is very hard to play at those levels week in, week out, but you can do it, that has to be the aim.

“I will pick the best bits out of the game on Saturday and show them where they have done well and how they have done well, and then we can build on that going forward.

“Our pressing game was absolutely fantastic, to a man they were all exceptional, even the subs that came on.”

Clemence made four changes for the cup game.

Those coming into the team, like striker Macauley Bonne, impressed and the head coach is delighted with his options.

“I would have no hesitation of playing any of those players,” said Clemence.

“I have a very good squad. Yes, we can improve, everyone can improve in whatever they do. You are always learning, these players are no different.

“They are a pleasure to go on the training ground with and whatever we try and give them they try and take on board and they try and carry it out.

“I have no problem playing anyone and I think whoever I play they will always give their all and we will always have a chance.”

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