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Published: 15:00, 21 July 2019
| Updated: 18:33, 21 July 2019
Performance levels dropped on Sunday, according to Gillingham assistant manager Paul Raynor, but he wasn’t a surprised.
It was Gillingham’s second big game at home in the space of two days.
And despite being a little less intense than they were against Charlton on the Saturday, Raynor was still pleased to see them heading in the right direction two weeks before the season begins.
Raynor said: “We put these two games on to give us a real test and Millwall certainly did that, they gave us different sorts of problems than Charlton but we stood up to it well.
“We have learned an awful lot about the boys again. I thought the performance level wasn’t quite as it was on Saturday but that’s to be expected.
“That probably took a little bit more out of us than we thought, fitness wise, and we looked a little lethargic at times, but we have learned a lot.
“We tried to manage the game-time as much as possible, which wasn’t easy, but the guys will benefit fitness-wise from it. We have learned a little bit more about the guys and partnerships and it was an excellent workout and another step along the way.
“The boys worked incredibly hard on Saturday, they had to go against quality opposition again and it was always going to be tough.”
While Charlton’s strikeforce included some flair players, Millwall had the likes of big-men Aiden O’Brien and Matt Smith upfront.
“It was a different challenge,” said the Gills assistant, who was on press duty again.
“Charlton tried to play through us and Millwall play a slightly different style but we are going to come up against different styles throughout the season and that was just another obstacle and learning curve of how we are going to deal with that. I thought we dealt with it reasonably well.”
Raynor felt they made it too easy for Millwall at times on Sunday.
He said: “If the performance levels were like Saturday then we would be delighted but that wasn’t going to be the case.
“We were just a notch down in terms of intensity, in closing the ball down and we made it a little too easy for Millwall to play forward passes.
“We set the standard on Saturday about how we want to do it and we need to get back to that and do it week in, week out. The boys are aware, we have a lot more to do on that, but we’re going in the right direction and we’re pleased.
“Games have been difficult but they have been enjoyable and we’ve got a lot out of them, so we’re delighted.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell