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Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne says Plymouth game is their biggest this season

By Craig Tucker

Mark Byrne says Gillingham's Good Friday game against Plymouth is their biggest of the season.

The sides meet at Priestfield with Gills knowing victory would leave them virtually safe in League 1.

It's a big day for Steve Lovell's men, who are four points clear of the drop zone in 15th position.

Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne Picture: Ady Kerry

They're a point and three places better off than the Pilgrims and desperate to secure their status as soon as possible.

Midfielder Byrne said: "Friday's massive for us - we need to get a win.

"Fifty-one points might be enough if we win but I still think we've got to push on.

"We don't want to come to the last game of the season needing to get something at Blackpool.

"Friday's the biggest game of the season for us so far so we've got to get something.

"First and foremost, we need to put in a performance after the weekend because it wasn't good enough against Shrewsbury.

"We've got to put in a performance and go for the three points but the main thing is not to lose because they're below us.

"We need to go for it but if it's not meant to be, make sure you don't get beat.

"That was the problem the other day against Shrewsbury.

"The first half was tit for tat, I think they came for the draw but they deserved to win, they got the two goals and sat in behind us."

While there's no mistaking the importance of the game, it's important Gillingham stay level-headed and Byrne's experience will be vital.

He said: "I've been in this situation before. I just try and use my experience.

Mark Byrne in action for Gills against Shrewsbury Picture: Ady Kerry
Mark Byrne in action for Gills against Shrewsbury Picture: Ady Kerry

"I think you learn as you get a bit older.

"It's the knowledge of the game, the tactics and the game management.

"You've just got to try and play your normal game, try and work on what we've done all week and if we do that, we should be capable of getting the three points."

Gillingham can rely on Byrne to get stuck in, even if it costs him a booking.

He's picked up 11 cautions this season, matching last year's tally, but while he was sent off in a pre-season friendly at Colchester, he's never been dismissed in a competitive game.

Byrne said: "I've always had yellow cards throughout my career.

"It just seems to be the sort of player I am, get round the pitch and get stuck in.

"Most of lads will tell you I train the way I play.

"In training at times, if someone needs to be taken down who's through on goal, I just take them down.

"It's a professional foul but that's the way I've always trained.

"I got sent off in pre-season against Colchester but never in a competitive game.

"There's times where you get a yellow and you've just got to manage the game then and manage how you go in to tackles.

"A few I don't think I've deserved but that's just the way it goes."

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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