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Manager Steve Lovell will put faith in youth if Gillingham flop against Welling in Kent Senior Cup

By Luke Cawdell

Wholesale changes have been threatened by Gills boss Steve Lovell following a weekend shocker.

He plans to play many of his under-performing players at Welling tonight (Tuesday) in the Kent Senior Cup and is demanding a response after Saturday's tame defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

If Lovell doesn't get what he's looking for he is willing to play the kids when Gills travel to Rochdale in League 1 on Saturday.

Steve Lovell is demanding a response from his players against Welling Picture: Ady Kerry
Steve Lovell is demanding a response from his players against Welling Picture: Ady Kerry

“If I have to change the whole team for next week then that’s what I will do,” he said.

“The majority will play Tuesday night, I am going to stick them out there. They have got to try now and find a place for themselves (in the team) on Saturday.

“They have to get that performance out of their system. I have got to get it out of the system and the only way to do that is to watch them play. Most of them will play Tuesday night.”

Lovell felt some of the players weren’t trying hard enough on Saturday.

He said: “I am looking at them and thinking flipping heck, it is League 1, you go out there and you bust a gut.

"They have to have a look at themselves.

“We can prepare and do everything through the week, regarding training. I was speaking to (Wimbledon manager) Neal Ardley about that before the game. What happens out on that pitch on a Saturday you can’t control.

“All you can do is make substitutions and tactical decisions which you hope will change the game, but performances and work rate you can’t – that is down to the individuals and there wasn’t enough from the players.

“It is up to the players now. If they don’t do it in training they won’t play. I will play all the young boys who really want to run around and have a go.”

Lovell opted against bringing the players in on Sunday, something many managers do as a way of punishment.

“I don’t think that does any good at all,” he said. “In fact it works the opposite."

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