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QPR loan striker Charlie Kelman ready to give his all for the cause as Gillingham face a relegation battle in League 1


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Gillingham loan striker Charlie Kelman believes unity will be key to survival.

The front-man made a positive impact at Wigan on Saturday after coming off the bench and he still believes there is time for the club to get out of trouble.

Charlie Kelman returned to Gillingham on loan under Steve Lovell Picture: KPI
Charlie Kelman returned to Gillingham on loan under Steve Lovell Picture: KPI

It’s a busy period for the Gills coming up. They have little time to dwell on Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Wigan with Shrewsbury Town visiting Priestfield on Tuesday night.

Kelman said: “There are 20 games to go and I am not going to give up, I know all of the players aren’t giving up. We need everyone behind us because that is what will drive us on to the end of the season.

“The fans are great, the club is great, on Tuesday night there is no point turning on each other, everyone needs to give it a go. We will give it a right go, get in people’s faces, go after people, chase people. We know we have enough to get out of the situation. We want to do it for Loves and for Macca (the caretaker management team) and we will give it a good go.

“We need everyone behind us, it is a time for unity, not a time to turn our backs on each other, I have been in this situation before with Southend.

“Once the fans start turning then it is difficult because you play for the fans, it is why you are here, football without fans is nothing as we have learned in the last few years.

“Everyone needs to stick together, even if we go one or 2-0 down, we can pull it back. If we stick together, anything can happen. Everyone in the changing room believes.”

Gillingham ended the weekend bottom of the table and 10 points adrift of safety.

Gillingham improved after the break at Wigan with Charlie Kelman on the pitch Picture: KPI (54432959)
Gillingham improved after the break at Wigan with Charlie Kelman on the pitch Picture: KPI (54432959)

It would have been an easy decision for Kelman to decline a chance to return to Gillingham having been sent back to parent club QPR after a tough first few months.

As soon as former boss Steve Evans left Kelman's phone lit up with the likes of Alex MacDonald and Stuart O’Keefe asking for him to return. Caretaker boss Steve Lovell was only too happy to have another striker on the books.

Kelman is clearly glad to be back.

He said: “I could have easily sat there with a cigar in my mouth and kicked my feet up but that is not me. I wanted to get back and do the right thing.

“What happened before I have put it behind me. I wish (former manager) Steve Evans and Paul (Raynor) well, but at the end of the day it is about us now, we can’t dwell on it, we have Loves and Macca and we will see what happens.

“I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t believe it. I owe it to the fans. The first time I got a load of support and it didn’t go the way I wanted it but I am not going to throw my toys out the pram.

“We are all down (after Saturday’s defeat) but we can’t dwell on it. Football is fast and there is another game coming up. We will get our heads down and see what happens.

“Now I'm back here I want to give everything, I need to start scoring, that will come, but first things first we need to start running around and showing we want it. In the changing rooms we can all say ‘we want to do it’ but the pitch is where we do the talking, the fans they deserve it and we will see what happens at the end of the season.”

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