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Dartford 1 Gillingham 2: Reaction from Gills assistant Paul Raynor

By Luke Cawdell

Work needs to done on Gillingham’s defensive shape said assistant boss Paul Raynor after their midweek win over Dartford.

The Gills won the game 2-1 but the hosts had several chances of their own - too many for Raynor’s linking.

Speaking after the game, he said: “I thought it was an excellent workout, a step up in terms of quality of opposition and I thought Dartford posed us some problems.

Assistant boss Paul Raynor with manager Steve Evans at Dartford Picture: Andy Jones
Assistant boss Paul Raynor with manager Steve Evans at Dartford Picture: Andy Jones

“We looked very lively in attack and created a number of opportunities but we certainly have to do a bit of work on team shape without the ball.

“We were very attack minded and we always have been but we also need to be more solid and offer up less chances to the opposition and that’s something we will have to work in the next couple of weeks.

“There is a long way to go. We will get better and it’s about peaking for the first few games of the season.”

Elliott List and Mark Byrne got Gills’ goals but trialist striker Mikael Mandron had several second half chances, including an effort off the woodwork.

Regan Charles-Cook is challenged by Jordan Wynter Picture: Andy Jones
Regan Charles-Cook is challenged by Jordan Wynter Picture: Andy Jones

Speaking about List, Raynor said: “He is electric going forward, we have seen that, if he could run just as fast going backwards to get back defensively then he would be even better but that is what we will work on with him, getting him to work a little harder for the team, but he certainly poses opposition teams problems with his pace and power and end product as well.

“We are looking to move the ball a lot quicker than they did last year, that’s not a criticism, that was the way Steve (Lovell, the former manager) wanted to play, but as everyone has seen we want to get it forward a little more positively and a bit quicker, create opportunities in wide areas and get crosses in the box. We are certainly doing it but we do need to make sure we are not too open at the back for the counter attack. That is something we need to work on in the next couple of weeks.

Elliott List cracks home the opening goal Picture: Andy Jones
Elliott List cracks home the opening goal Picture: Andy Jones

“We need to sure up that midfield. If we want to play adventurously like that we need a bit of cautiousness that we don’t go too gung-ho and get hurt defensively. Lots to work on in that area but the number of chances we’ve created is a positive.

“You still need to have a nice shape behind the ball when you do that. It can be remedied by a few tactical tweaks and people having a little bit more defensive mindedness but we’re pleased on the whole.

“It was a good workout, we showed good fitness levels, it was a nice pitch, good opposition, nothing too silly, a good physical game but nothing naughty. We were pleased.”

Gillinghan chairman Paul Scally watching the game from the stands Picture: Andy Jones
Gillinghan chairman Paul Scally watching the game from the stands Picture: Andy Jones

Read more: The latest sports news from Kent

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