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Gillingham manager Neil Harris on how he thinks their budget will compare with the rest of League 2

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Gillingham will have to “work smart” to compete with the League 2 big spenders, according to manager Neil Harris.

Harris reckons the Gills’ spending power will be beaten by a number of other teams in the EFL’s bottom tier.

Gillingham manager Neil Harris says they need to work smart to beat their rivals at the top of League 2 Picture: KPI
Gillingham manager Neil Harris says they need to work smart to beat their rivals at the top of League 2 Picture: KPI

The Gills were always up against it in League 1, with some heavyweight teams competing for players.

“When I took over our budget was the lowest in League 1,” said Harris, who has recently informed the current squad who he wants and who he doesn’t.

“We have to cut our cloth accordingly in League 2.

“We are not going to be up there budget-wise in the top six or seven, far from it.

“We have to work smart, we have to be sensible with what we do and if I am not sure players are going to affect the first team regularly then I have to be really honest with them.

“I had some good conversations with lads, I have not fallen out with anyone over it.

“There were a couple I could have kept and a couple that wanted to stay but when you sit down and discuss it sometimes they are best moving on and getting an opportunity somewhere else rather than sitting here and not being in the XI.

“If I can have 18-20 players here on July 30 (for the start of the season), or as close to that as possible that I feel I could pick at any given game, then I am in a really strong position.

“I didn’t feel with the group I had that enough of them were ready to play for me next year.”

Harris knows what he’s got to work with from a financial point of view, having had budget conversations with the chairman, and is busy going about the process of recruitment.

On those talks with chairman Paul Scally, he said: “We have met and we have had a really good conversation, he wants to support.

“We haven’t got a great infrastructure of money available and we have to work within budgets.

“We are not going to be at the top end of the division financially, nowhere near it, so we have to find ways and means.

“We have to have the best spirit, the best group, best standards, best drive, best structure football-wise [and] try and get the recruitment right and then it gives us a chance.”

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