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Gillingham striker Mikael Mandron is hoping for a first league start after impressing against former team Colchester in the EFL Trophy

Striker Mikael Mandron hopes his midweek EFL Trophy performance is enough to earn him a starting place for Gills at Tranmere on Saturday.

Mandron scored in Gillingham's 3-2 defeat against his former club Colchester and could have had a couple more, with a penalty shout turned down and a late goal disallowed.

Mikael Mandron netted his spot-kick in the recent shootout defeat to Newport in the League Cup Picture: Ady Kerry
Mikael Mandron netted his spot-kick in the recent shootout defeat to Newport in the League Cup Picture: Ady Kerry

The Frenchman recently scored twice in a practice game against Brighton and netted three in pre-season, but has yet to start in the league for the Gills.

Mandron said: “I am working hard every day to try and get in the team. I am trying to put positive thoughts into the gaffer’s mind and we will see about Saturday.

“It was nice to score because as a striker you always want to get goals but it is the goals that count which mean the most. Hopefully there are more to come.”

Before Tuesday’s match he had started the previous five games on the bench.

“Sometimes in football you have to be patient,” he said.

“You have to work hard and try and do your best every time you get a chance. Hopefully that is what I am doing.”

Mikael Mandron tries to control the ball against Colchester Picture: Ady Kerry
Mikael Mandron tries to control the ball against Colchester Picture: Ady Kerry

Fellow striker Brandon Hanlan wasn’t involved in the midweek game and despite offering contrasting styles up front, Mandron sees no reason why they can’t play together like they have done in the past.

He said: “We are quite different. Brandon is very powerful and quick and I can bring height and a physical presence as well.

“It is great for the team to have two different options but we could play together.

“We have played together at Colchester before (during the 2017/18 season) and had some good games together so hopefully that will come.”

Mandron’s evening, from a personal perspective, was good but it could have been so much better.

Reflecting on the first-half penalty appeal that was waved away by the referee, he said: “It was handball. With the new rule, as soon as it hits your hand it should be handball and I am pretty sure it went to one of the defender’s hands.

“But without VAR (video assistant referees) here, you just have to get on with it.”

He was also denied a goal at the end of the game, with the referee blowing up for foul after he had netted.

Mandron said: “I was marked quite tight and the ball was coming over, I just had a bit too much determination to get there.

“The referee gave a foul but maybe on another day I would have got my second goal.

“I didn’t complain, I never really do to the referee, because once they make a decision they are not going to go back on it.”

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