Published: 18:00, 16 February 2019
| Updated: 09:31, 17 February 2019
Steve Lovell was a proud man after seeing his players rise to the occasion on Saturday.
It was Gillingham’s biggest game of the season, according to manager Lovell, and his men came good when it mattered.
Lovell said: “It is not nice when you are going through a bit of a run where nothing is going for you, it is hard to accept it, but it is even harder to then dig in and come through it.
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“I have said it all along, these boys are a great bunch, they work hard every day, they deserved it and I felt really proud of them.
“It hasn’t been easy for a lot of us for the last two or three weeks, a lot of managers perhaps in our position before the game will say the same thing, but you have to be strong and positive and that’s what we have always been, even after defeats.
“I am always upbeat and positive. The boys have got the three points and that positivity, mentally, will do them the power of good.”
Lovell’s side started the day in the bottom four, following last weekend’s poor showing against Barnsley and needed a win to lift everyone at the club.
“It is a relief to get the three points,” said Lovell.
“I am very pleased with the way the boys played, especially first half.
“Second half showed the character of everyone. It was a tough half, the opposition are going to come at you but we restricted them to very few efforts at goal and that’s what we have to do. When you defend well you get results.
“We have conceded too many goals over the last three or four weeks.”
Having complained about his team’s defending the week before, keeping a clean sheet was an additional bonus.
Lovell said: “Connor (Ogilvie) went in at centre-half and I think he is a very good left-sided centre-half, he is good on the ball as well as attacking the ball in the air and on the floor, he gives us that balance at the back.
“I thought Connor, Max (Ehmer), Barry (Fuller) and Luke (O’Neill) were brilliant defensively, but they had people infront of them, the midfield defended well and the three upfront did their part defensively.
“It is a team game going forward and defending, but defending is the hardest part because people don’t like to defend, especially forwards, I know that. If you can dig in and do it then you are helping the team and that’s what happened.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell