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Gillingham manager Neil Harris reacts to 1-0 League 2 defeat at Doncaster Rovers

Gillingham boss Neil Harris has told his squad he doesn’t want any more nearly men.

The Gills again fell short on the road on Saturday, losing 1-0 at Doncaster in League 2.

It left Harris demanding more from his players as the fine margins continue to go the wrong way for his side.

“I can’t be frustrated all the time, I can’t be angry or throw teacups so to speak,” said Harris.

“We can only prepare so much, we can only do so much of the job for you, then I need a group mentality and individual qualities that I expect from my players.

“At the moment, those close calls we're falling the wrong side of at both ends of the pitch.

“I don’t really know what more to say to you guys (the media) because it’s a collective responsibility and I’m the manager.

“I said to my group, I don’t want nearly men, I don’t want men that almost score, I don’t want men that almost block a shot, I don’t want men that almost win a header. In games at the moment, I’m having nearly men at certain moments of the game and it’s not acceptable.”

The game followed a similar pattern to Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Leyton Orient.

The Gills again had an opening or two in a goalless first half but their lack of cutting edge was ultimately punished after the break.

Comparing the two games, Harris added: “Leyton Orient are top of the league for a reason because they are the best team, and I think they are the best team by quite a long way as well. We played really well on Tuesday.

“Today, I felt we played well again for long periods of the game but we’ve lost it. If I was standing here with a point, I’d be pretty disappointed we didn’t do more to win the game. I’m hugely disappointed to have nothing.

“Small graces are we’ve played okay and competed against another top 10 side but an individual stuck the ball in our net. I’m fed up of saying the same things.

“It’s typical of our games. The opponent has had a couple of chances, we’ve had a couple of chances and there weren’t loads in it. We just came out the wrong side of the result.

“Against Orient I thought we defended poorly for the goals but they had to work hard for their goals, it was clever play. Today it was just a cross into the box, a header and a deflection.

“They are the moments that we’re not getting. It’s a game I can talk about the positives and how good we were for spells but it’s a game we got nothing from.

Gillingham manager Neil Harris. Picture: KPI
Gillingham manager Neil Harris. Picture: KPI

“On Tuesday my frustration was we played the best team in the league and we were as good as them for 78 minutes. Ultimately, quality and money shows at all levels of football.”

Doncaster looked pretty on the eye at times, despite their defensive 5-4-1 set-up. They had gone five games without a win while Gills were also lacking confidence in their play.

The game looked destined for a goalless draw, and Harris felt there was little between the sides on the day.

Report: Doncaster 1-0 Gillingham

“It's League 2 football,” reflected the Gills boss. “I have to review the game on the coach on the way home, work out why we came out the wrong side of such tight calls again.

“There was nothing in it. Yes, they’ve got some nice patterns of play and made a lot of passes but the majority of their passes were in their own half.

“The passes in the opponents’ half there will be nothing in it. Final third entries, we’ll probably have more than them, so we come out the wrong side and it’s been too many times for me this season.

“I suppose it comes down to levels of players, I can only ask so much of my group. I keep demanding more, keep trying to coach more and that’s all I can do.”

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