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Boss Steve Lovell says Premier League not a pipe dream for Gillingham

By Craig Tucker

Steve Lovell sees no reason why Gillingham can’t follow in Blackpool’s footsteps and reach the Premier League one day.

It’s eight years since the Tangerines, who beat Gills 1-0 on Tuesday night, shocked football by reaching the top flight under Ian Holloway.

They did it on modest crowds and a low budget and while money talks these days, clubs of Gillingham’s size should be ambitious.

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell is inspired by Blackpool's journey to the Premier League Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham boss Steve Lovell is inspired by Blackpool's journey to the Premier League Picture: Ady Kerry

Boss Lovell said: “I don’t think there’s any reason why any club can’t do it.

“It’s something I think all managers and players want to achieve.

“I think it comes down to money at the end of the day.

“Our chairman is working hard to support this football club, which he’s done for many years, and he’s always looking to improve it.

“We’re all together, we’re a good family club, we all want the same thing and I’m sure if we could get things going, that’s something that you can aim for.

“Years ago Bradford did it, they got to the Premier League. It takes a lot of money for clubs to get up to the highest level, but it’s something we all want to do.

“It’s come to a point now where the money that’s in football is ridiculous but we’re realistic.

“All we’re concerned about this year is we’re in League 1, we want to finish as high as we can in League 1 and at the end of the season, whatever happens, happens.”

Gillingham start their FA Cup campaign this Saturday with a home tie against National League club Hartlepool in the first round.

They’ve come unstuck against non-league clubs in recent years, knocked out twice at this stage by Brackley.

Pools have a big Football League history and Gills are desperate to avoid another upset.

Lovell said: “They’ve been a league club for many years.

“They’re a good side, well-organised, and they’ll give us a game. We’ve got to be on our game on Saturday if we’re going to get a result.

“We’ll take it the same way as we would any other game because it’s a big game for them, they’ll be coming here and they’ll be the underdogs.

“They’ve got nothing to lose so we’ve got to make sure we’re on our mettle and not give in.

“The FA Cup is something special and it’s important for us as a club to go as far as we can.

“That’s something as a player you want to do because you never know, you get to that third round and you don’t know who you’re going to get.”

The winners of Saturday's tie earn £36,000 in prize money.

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