Published: 00:00, 14 March 2019
Darren Oldaker was brought back in from the cold to play against Bristol Rovers but Gillingham boss Steve Lovell admitted it was a mistake.
Oldaker was one of three changes to Lovell’s starting XI, in a bid to freshen things up for the midweek encounter, but the youngster had a tough evening at Priestfield.
The 20-year-old hadn’t been in the Gills squad for the previous two matches and was an unused substitute in the game before those.
“I thought DJ (Oldaker) struggled,” said Lovell.
“I will have a chat with him, he is a young lad. I wanted him to get on the ball, take control and pass it, which he has done in the past.
“I just felt he was a little bit nervous, he played that way and that wasn’t like DJ can play out there. Perhaps it is my fault for playing him but I had confidence in him to go and do it.”
Oldaker recently signed a new extended deal with the Gills and Lovell still believes in the midfielder, despite the midweek hiccup.
He said: “It was probably one of the biggest games he has played in and it was an experience for him.
“He has the talent, no doubt. He has done it for us in the past and will do it in the future.
“It is a learning curve for him but I will hold my hands up and perhaps I shouldn’t have played him.”
One of those left out of the starting line-up to face Bristol Rovers was on-loan Wigan midfielder Leo Da Silva Lopes.
Like Oldaker, he had been guilty of trying to over-complicate things, according to the manager.
Lovell said: “Like we say to anyone and I said it to Leo last week, sometimes you have to play your way into a game. You do simple things.
“In the last couple of weeks Leo has tried to do complicated things early on in the game and it hasn’t worked and then it is hard to get into the game.
“Any seasoned professional will say that the first pass, even if it is just five yards, make it a good one, it gives you that confidence. If someone makes a mistake in the first two or three touches, it is hard then to try and get into that mode.”