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Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh was unable to defend his players after Stevenage FA Cup exit

Justin Edinburgh will have his players in on Sunday to assess what went wrong at Stevenage.

The players’ day off has been scrapped in the wake of their 3-0 FA Cup loss.

It was a performance that Gills boss Edinburgh was unable to defend.

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Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin
Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin

He said: “It was unacceptable and I am bitterly disappointed. I certainly didn’t foresee that coming and it can’t and won’t happen again.

“When you lose the first thing you look for is a performance.

“We had a very good performance at Walsall (last week) and we had to take the positives from that. That result was disappointing but the performance there was very good.

“Before the match we spoke about Stevenage. 60-70% of their goals have come from set-pieces and we spoke about that. We have allowed them to get ahead and you can’t always chase games down.

“The first goal we were too slow to react and there were three passes before we had even got set and it went in the net. The second is a free header and that is just not acceptable.”

Gillingham did have chances late on but the Gills were already well adrift of getting back in the tie.

“Those were later and the damage was done first half with the way we started and the goals we conceded,” said the manager.

“The manner we stared the game, It was so out of character and there is so much frustration in me. It is so unlike me having to be unable to defend or praise the players. It beggars belief.”

Edinburgh chose not to make changes at the break, as he sent the players out to make amends.

He said: “The message was, ‘you got us in the mess, you get us out of it’.

“We have made changes at half-time before but I wasn’t prepared to do that. That was unacceptable. That would have been a way out.

“We’ll come in on Sunday and we’ll get to work.”

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