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Colchester United 0 Gillingham 2: Reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris after back-to-back League 2 wins

Gillingham played with a different kind of quality on Saturday to the delight of manager Neil Harris.

While the Gills were good on the eye in a 2-0 win over Hartlepool last weekend, it was more of a gutsy showing against Colchester United, as Harris’ men pulled off another 2-0 victory.

Both pleased the boss, as the Gills climbed off the bottom of League 2 and picked up their first away win of the season.

Harris said: “Last Saturday against Hartlepool we were magnificent, we played well, passed the ball well, ran forward, created chances, we were really good, it was a very impressive performance.

“(This Saturday) we weren’t as good, it was a different way of being good, we were professional, we took our chances when they came along, very few chances in the game for either team but we were clinical, good players are clinical and we are improving all the time.”

David Tutonda headed the Gills infront and in first half stoppage-time Tom Nichols nodded in a second. Alex MacDonald was delivered balls into the box for both goals.

Gillingham kept Colchester at arm’s reach in the second half, keeping the Essex side at bay and ending their run of three straight wins.

Harris continued: “When we got two in front we had to be professional, they completely changed their style of play in the second half, tried to pass the ball and play through us, we had to be resolute and dig in, we had to change shape a couple of times, and again, credit to my players they were excellent.

“Last week to earn a clean sheet we were slightly fortunate, in the sense that the post saved us. We kept the clean sheet again and we earned that, we made blocks from the shots, around the edge of the box and in the box and we had bodies on the line. We defended crosses well and I thought we looked really solid.

“Colchester are the most inform team in the league over the last five fixtures, winning four games, we knew it was going to be a real challenge and the most important thing is getting the three points.”

The League 2 standings after Gills' win at Colchester United (61985298)
The League 2 standings after Gills' win at Colchester United (61985298)

Harris picked an unchanged team for the match despite tinkering with the formation as MacDonald moved to right wing-back. He wasn’t short of options, with newcomers Jayden Clarke and Ethan Coleman sat watching, along with experienced forward Scott Kashket. None of them were in the squad.

“The players deserved to go again,” said the manager. “I thought they were the right players for the game, we had the right match-ups on the pitch but I wouldn't hesitate to change a winning team next week, going into the Swindon game.

“The important thing is I have a group of lads that have got great chemistry already, even though it is only a couple of weeks old, we are going to add in the coming week to 10 days and those lads will fit straight in as well.”

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