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Bristol Rovers 1 Gillingham 1: Reaction from Gills manager Steve Lovell

It was safety-first for Gillingham boss Steve Lovell on Saturday.

The Gills nicked a point late on against Bristol Rovers, after an improved display, albeit one that still lacked quality at times.

For Lovell, achieving their goal of League 1 survival outweighed everything else.

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Steve Lovell at the end of Saturday's game Picture: Ady Kerry
Steve Lovell at the end of Saturday's game Picture: Ady Kerry

“We’re very happy to be staying up,” said the Gills boss, after the 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers.

“We knew it would be a tough game, they are a very good side. There wasn’t much in the game, everyone can see there wasn’t much in the game, perhaps at the end of the day a point was a worthy result.

Report: Bristol Rovers 1 Gillingham 1

Scott Wagstaff on the ball for Gillingham Picture: Ady Kerry (1656405)
Scott Wagstaff on the ball for Gillingham Picture: Ady Kerry (1656405)

“The main thing was getting over the line and ensuring we are staying in the league next year and that’s what we’ve done so I am very pleased.”

Lovell was keen to avoid a final-day relegation showdown and he was in the loop through the game of developments elsewhere.

He said: “We had the phone on with the scores coming through and at one stage Rochdale were leading 1-0 at Oxford and Oldham were drawing, then Bristol went and scored.

Gabriel Zakuani back in defence for the Gills on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry (1656407)
Gabriel Zakuani back in defence for the Gills on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry (1656407)

“We look again and Oxford are 2-1 up and then Elliott goes and scores that goal (to make it 1-1). With Rochdale losing and Oldham drawing it meant we were safe for another year.”

Lovell had demanded a better display from his team, following their 3-0 home loss to Blackpool last week.

They were better this time around, having a goal ruled out for a borderline offside decision along with a couple of other near misses.

The Gills manager knows there was still room for improvement, however.

“They worked hard and gave everything,” he said.

“At times the quality wasn’t there in the final third and I felt the final ball into the box was very poor, final decisions on the ball were poor.

“But at the end we get a point and that’s the most important thing. The most important thing was to not go into next week’s game against Plymouth needing to get a point or needing a win. I am so pleased we got it done this week.”

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