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Gillingham assistant David Kerslake reacts to 5-1 win over Fleetwood Town

Assistant manager David Kerslake was thrilled with the way Gillingham responded to back-to-back defeats.

The Gills bounced back from successive away losses to thrash Fleetwood 5-1 at Priestfield.

Kerslake said: “It is a huge boost but when we were defeated at Colchester we felt we should have got at least a point.

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Gillingham celebrate their fourth goal against Fleetwood scored by Rory Donnelly Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham celebrate their fourth goal against Fleetwood scored by Rory Donnelly Picture: Barry Goodwin

“At Barnsley we were a little more disappointed with our performance but we said to the players, 'we know we are not going to go through the whole season undefeated'.

"There would be knocks and it was about how we responded to it.

"We, as coaching staff, had confidence that we would bounce back and it was the perfect way to do it, with your home crowd in.”

The Gills went a goal down but struck four times in the first half to turn the match on its head.

“We showed great character to come back from a disappointing start,” said the Gills No.2.

“They overloaded the midfield and we were finding it hard to get into the game. They were winning more second balls and first contacts than us.

"When they go 1-0 up it could have been a hard evening but the players picked the tempo up and really got at them.

“We were pushing men forward and here at Gillingham we want to win all of our matches and hopefully do it in style. It doesn’t always happen, but we pushed men forward and you are always going to be liable to the counter, but we defended well and held our own.”

Rory Donnelly scored the pick of the goals, with his second, lifting the ball over the keeper after bursting through the defence on the halfway line.

Kerslake said: “You know that if Rory gets a yard not too many people are going to catch him.

“It was a wonderful piece of skill to get behind everyone, he looked up and everyone could see the keeper had advanced. I am thinking if he pulls this off it will be a hell of a goal.

“It was the best so far this season but all goals are precious.

"When Cody gets on and gets the goal every player, every substitute and every player on the bench went in to celebrate and were pleased for Cody that he is up and running. It shows what fantastic team spirit we have here." 

Kerslake confirmed that Ryan Jackson went off as a precaution with a groin injury.

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