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Gillingham coach Steve Lovell enjoyed the attacking side of their game against Bristol City but not the defending

Steve Lovell is part of a four-man caretaker team at Gills. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Steve Lovell is part of a four-man caretaker team at Gills. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gills coach Steve Lovell had mixed emotions following the 4-2 defeat against Bristol City.

The Gills created plenty of opportunities themselves but their vulnerability at the back proved costly in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area semi-final first leg.

Lovell said: “Going forward it was very good. We were creating chances and we scored two good goals. Again, we worked on a system to go and get at them and I thought we did.

“We got the early goal but then defensively we were poor. We gave them three of the goals. The fourth was brilliant but it was bad defending for the other three and that’s something we have to work on.”

Lovell, together with the other three members of the management team in temporary charge, are keen to see the side attack and entertain.

“We have always thought that the best way to defend is to attack, especially against a side like that,” said the club’s under-18 manager.

“There was a long period in the second half where we had them. Although they are a good side we created some problems for them.”

Striker Matt Smith – on loan from Championship side Fulham – scored all four of City's goals.

Lovell said: “People go on about budgets and say ‘that doesn’t make any difference’ but of course it does. It is a massive difference.

“You can bring someone like that in and they repay you with four goals. He is quality. The fourth strike was fantastic.

“There was bad defending on two of the goals, at least. We gave him those goals and that is disappointing.

"If he scored four like his last one I would say, 'well done', but we have contributed to them scoring goals and that has to be addressed.”

The Gills face Crewe at the weekend but picked up several knocks.

John Egan suffered a cut to his foot and needed stitches at half time. He wasn’t the only one to suffer.

Lovell said: “The true warrior that he (Egan) is, he came out and had a good second half.

“Joe Martin has done something to his calf and Bradley Dack had done something to his knee. They are only minor, hopefully, because the squad isn’t that big.

"We will assess them tomorrow (Wednesday) ready for Thursday training.”

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