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Tranmere 3 Gillingham 1: Match highlights and reaction from Gills head coach Stephen Clemence after League 2 defeat at Prenton Park

Gillingham coach Stephen Clemence insisted the team will get better after a disappointing loss at Tranmere.

The Gills had 66% possession, more shots than the home side, including those on targets as well as 10 corners to nil, but poor defending and a lack of cutting edge proved costly against a side who have struggled this season. Tranmere won the match 3-1.

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“I’m obviously very disappointed,” said Clemence following the defeat - Gills’ ninth in 19 league games, leaving them ninth in the table.

“I am still learning about everyone here, about the players and the way things are, what has gone on in the past.

“I didn’t like what I saw from the team and so we have to improve on that, and we will do, I have no doubt about it, we will improve on that.

“I felt in the first half we were fully in control and then we concede a goal which had basic` errors in it which shouldn't happen and then we have a mad start to the second half and we should do better for the third and second goal, then the game is pretty much done.

“Some of the errors in our goals were basic errors and ones that we shouldn’t be making. If you make errors in football matches then you give teams a heads-up.

“Tranmere are near the bottom of the league, fighting for their lives, I have said they have a good manager but when you give teams a leg-up at home, you give them a goal start, it gives them something to hang onto and it gives them confidence and then they had a good start to the second half as well. Well done to Tranmere, but ourselves, we know we can do better.”

The Gills’ dominance of the ball in the first half came to nothing and Tranmere led when Rob Apter finished well, capitalising as the visitors failed to deal with a ball over the top of the defence.

A poor start to the second half saw them concede twice more. A flurry of chances came for the Gills late on but the home side had a clear advantage and Connor Mahoney’s well struck free-kick in the 91st minute was the only time the Tranmere keeper was beaten.

Clemence accepted they have to do better.

He said: “We might have had a lot of control in the first half but did we create enough? No, we didn’t.

“Just because we did well last week (in a home win over Salford) doesn’t mean every week is going to be the same, there is no way we are going to turn up every game and dominate, but when you are in difficult moments, what I do expect is that you get yourself through those difficult moments and you don’t concede.

“If you have to get everyone behind the ball and defend solidly for a period that is what we have to do, that is what we will be telling the boys in the future.

“The (first Tranmere) goal came very close to half-time and then the next two came very quickly. I had felt quite positive at half-time, I felt we had a great chance to come back into the game, not to just draw level. I thought we had a good chance to win it.

“We didn’t defend out box well enough at the start of the second half and if you don’t do that, whoever you play against if you are in professional football you are going to concede goals.

“Connor scored a good free-kick at the end and we had one or two good chances later on, but for all the control and possession we had in that first half, we probably didn’t create enough.”

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