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Ipswich Town 1 Gillingham 0: Reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris after narrow defeat at Portman Road


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Manager Neil Harris was delighted to see Gillingham take another step forward, even though their efforts went unrewarded at Ipswich.

The Gills were the better team over the 90 minutes at Portman Road against a side chasing the League 1 play-offs but Ipswich took all three points.

Asked how he felt afterwards, Harris said: “I like to win, I am a winner, I have been a winner as a player and a manager, I want to win games of football.

“I walk out disappointed we didn’t get something from the game, which we deserved, however I am really proud of my players, that was excellent.

“We talk about improvement and momentum and I said to the boys after, ‘that is momentum again’, the fact they came off the pitch with a standing ovation from the away support. They got booed off the other day (against Oxford) when it was 4-0 and let’s be honest it could have been 15, at home.

Neil Harris speaks to the press after a 1-0 defeat at Ipswich Picture: Barry Goodwin
Neil Harris speaks to the press after a 1-0 defeat at Ipswich Picture: Barry Goodwin

“To come off with that performance and walk into the changing room disappointed, they are not just disappointed they haven’t got one point but three, and that’s how good they were and we have to build on that.

“The performance was very good and I thought we were better for 90 minutes. We were very good for 45 minutes on Tuesday (in the 1-0 win over Crewe). This time around anyone in the ground would have seen how organised we were and how structured we were.

“I am immensely proud of them, the fans that travelled made some fantastic noise in support of the team but they also had a performance to support as well, which was key.

“We started the game on the front foot, we were in the ascendancy for five minutes, but good football sides find a way to play and they were fantastic with the ball for 25 minutes. They only created two chances and they came from set-plays, from second phases, and I am disappointed with my players not (for winning) first contacts and second balls, but the goalkeeper has not made a save.

“We then had 15 minutes before half-time where we dominated, caused mistakes, made good decisions, got into good areas, got close with a couple of shots around the box and then at half-time I said to the boys the game plan was working and so stick with it. We tinkered with it slightly, to get a bit higher up the pitch.

“We played with quality and arguably before Danny Lloyd came off injured and just after we could have been 3-0 up, we hit the woodwork twice and the keeper made a good save and a couple of times the ball ricocheted in the box, and how it does not find a red shirt is unbelievable.

Manager Neil Harris thanks the travelling support at Ipswich Picture: Barry Goodwin
Manager Neil Harris thanks the travelling support at Ipswich Picture: Barry Goodwin

“I said to the boys after, we lost a game of football where nine times out of 10 we would have probably won. It is an improvement.

"The fans will go home down the A12 delighted with what they have seen, buzzing, disappointed with the result but buzzing with the performance from the players and rightly so, and a manager who is very happy with the group."

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