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Gillingham 0 AFC Wimbledon 1: Reaction from Gills boss Steve Lovell

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell blasted his players following their defeat to Wimbledon.

Lovell claimed he was embarrassed by the "absolute rubbish" they served up at Priestfield, in a 1-0 loss to Wimbledon.

“The only positive we have is that there is another game on Saturday to look forward to,” he said, before launching a scathing attack on his players.

Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry

Report: Gillingham 0 AFC Wimbledon 1

“(It was) terrible, absolutely shocking. I thought the back four kept us together but the rest of them need to have a look at themselves.

“It was a shambles and that is the most embarrassed I have been. That was not a Steve Lovell football team out there and that is what I am mad about.”

Lovell made changes in formation during the game and substitutions at the break but the Gills rarely threatened the Wimbledon goal.

“It starts upfront for us,” he said.

“Look at the difference between their centre-forwards and our centre-forwards. Ours didn’t hold the ball up. Tom Eaves and Conor Wilkinson didn’t hold the ball up, their centre-forwards did and when they do that you have got a chance of your midfielders going into support.

“What chance have our midfield players got if our centre forwards aren’t going to hold the ball up?”

The Gills were without a number of players, through injuries, and anybody would have made a difference said the manager.

“You could have put anyone out there,” he said.

“That wasn’t my team out there, it didn’t belong to me, that is the disappointing thing. It’s the same people in midfield, we just didn’t have a midfield and we didn’t have a front two, it just came back off them. What’s the point of having two forwards out there if it going to come back off them.

“I told them that, I don’t care if they don’t like it, I am telling the truth. Tom Eaves is the top scorer at the club, I don’t care, if he isn’t going to do what I want him to do and he can’t do it then he won’t play, I will put someone else in there that will do it. Josh Parker is coming back (off international duty) so Tom has to have a look at himself.”

The midfield didn’t escape criticism either.

“They didn’t do it,” he said.

“The midfield never looked for the ball from our full-backs, if our full-backs get the ball and can see our midfield are wanting to get it then there is an option for them, if all you can see is them running away the only option is to hit the front men. When it doesn’t stick and it comes back then the midfield are out of the game. That is what happened.

“Midfield players have got to go looking for the ball, even if they don’t get it, they drag someone out, then it leaves space to go into the front men, but we didn’t do that and we didn’t hold the ball up either. It was poor.

“Elliott List, he came on and didn’t have a run. What’s going on? A 19-year-old player coming on in League 1 and not wanting to run. It is not on. People could see it. I am honest and I have to be honest with the supporters, I am with them, it was rubbish, absolutely rubbish.”

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