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Gillingham defender David Tutonda enjoyed being tested against Raul Jimenez, Diego Costa and Adama Traore in their Carabao Cup match with Wolves

Gillingham’s David Tutonda feels their efforts against world-class opponents on Tuesday should stand them in good stead for a Boxing Day tussle.

The defender helped contain Premier League Wolves for the majority of the game before they took the lead from the penalty spot after 77 minutes and added a second in stoppage-time in the Carabao Cup tie.

David Tutonda on the ball for Gillingham at Wolves in midweek
David Tutonda on the ball for Gillingham at Wolves in midweek

Gills had most of their players behind the ball for much of the game, looking to contain the likes of Ruben Neves - who played five games for Portugal at the Qatar World Cup - and experienced striker Diego Costa.

Wolves threw on some real talent off the bench too, with Hee Chan Hwang - who scored a 91st-minute winner for South Korea who reached the World Cup knock-out stages - and Mexico international forward Raul Jimenez. Taking on Tutonda down the flank in the second half was pacey Spaniard Adama Traore. It’s not bad practice going into a game against Colchester United at Priestfield on Boxing Day, a battle of the bottom two in League 2.

“We got close, really close,” said Tutonda, after the 2-0 defeat to Wolves. “It’s disappointing to have conceded when we were hanging on as we were but I’m proud of the boys and proud of the team, we put in a real shift and now we are just looking forward to Monday.

“It is important to take the positives from the game, we know we can compete with the best, we can compete against internationals, we have to take that confidence and we have to believe in each other. There is no way we should be where we are in the league and we need to put that right

“Traore is a very quick player, it was a nice challenge and a nice task. Me and Haks (Adelakun) worked really well together to prevent him from causing any problems. When you play against players of that ilk, you know you have to raise your game or you will be punished. It is always nice to play against those top sides.

David Tutonda up against Tranmere Rovers earlier in the season
David Tutonda up against Tranmere Rovers earlier in the season

“The bread and butter is the league, and we are not happy with where we are, we won’t sugar coat it. We need to be better, we have to start winning games, simple as that.

“We have shown that resilience, we don’t concede many, the problems for us are scoring goals and that is a team problem, not just the forward players, we are looking to build on that but at the back, we have been playing really well as a team.”

Tutonda missed three months of action through injury and is working his way back to full fitness. He’s started the last two games in cup competitions but his last league appearances was as a substitute against Swindon in early September.

He said: “I am feeling good, it’s nice to be back, I had a few months out and it is always tough watching from the sidelines when you want to help your team.

"I am hoping to contribute more now.”

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