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Gillingham have sacked manager Steve Lovell

Gillingham have announced the departure of manager Steve Lovell.

The club released a short statement on Friday afternoon saying he had been relieved of his duties with immediate effect.

Coach Mark Patterson has been put in temporary charge with the Gills facing Charlton on Saturday in their penultimate league game.

Gillingham have sacked manager Steve Lovell. Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham have sacked manager Steve Lovell. Picture: Ady Kerry

The Gills statement said: "After a discussion between the chairman and manager this afternoon, the club can confirm that Steve Lovell has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect.

Mark Patterson will take responsibility for the game against Charlton tomorrow, and Blackpool next week.

The club would like to thank Steve for his efforts with the team over the past 18 months and wish him well for the future."

Gillingham have said they are unwilling to comment further.

The Gills have all-but guaranteed their League 1 safety but it's been another tough campaign.

Lovell was in his first full season in charge, having taken over on a caretaker basis in October 2017. That was made permanent and a year ago he signed a new deal until the summer of 2020.

He was already planning for next season, having beaten his 50-point target.

In his first season, taking over following Peter Taylor's exit, he led the club to safety. It was a dream job for Lovell, having worked from the Community Department upwards during a longassociation with the club.

As a player he was a leading scorer for four seasons, during the last 80s/early 90s.

This season has seen the Gills toil will relegation once again and their inability to perform at home has often led to some negativity from fans. The club have seen attendances drop and recently announced a £300 season ticket to try and bring fans back to the club.

There will be no further comment at this stage, say the club.

Speculation has been ongoing about Steve Evans, the former Peterborough manager who has been a regular at games in recent months.

He was previously approached by the Gills about the job.

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