Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Sunderland 1 Gillingham 0: Reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris after defeat at The Stadium of Light

Gillingham manager Neil Harris praised opponents Sunderland for capitalising on the late mistake at the back from his side.

The Gills had defended resolutely against the promotion-chasers and looked to be on their way to earning a point before Nathan Broadhead was allowed the chance to head in a 95th minute winner. His goal clinched a 1-0 win.

Jack Tucker was the man beaten to the ball late on, a moment of frustration for the defender after a superb performance prior to that.

“It was a bit of a kick in the nuts!” admitted the Gills boss.

“I thought Sunderland were excellent in spells of the game and really made it difficult for us to get out of our half, they showed their quality that they possess as a football club and there are a lot of questions asked about how they are playing at this level. You look at their front four, tens of millions of pounds they have moved for in their careers, they caused us all sorts of problems early on and we managed to deal with it, we managed to adjust, at times we looked really comfortable.

“We didn’t always give a threat ourselves because it is tough, I knew it was going to be a difficult game, I knew it was probably going to be our hardest challenge between now and the end of the season, obviously it is tough to take when you concede last minute and it is an avoidable goal for me, sometimes you have to say fair play to the opponent because they in spells played very well.

“It is tough, you guys (in the media) might have put him (Jack Tucker) down for man-of-the-match, both sets of press might have because he had to stand up to so much, but I said this to the group, not just aimed at Jack, to a lot of our young players if you want to compete against big clubs you want to compete at the higher divisions the game lasts as long as the referee says it is lasting. You can’t switch off for a moment because you get punished against good players and that is what Sunderland did, good players found a way to score against us.

“We made a slight error of judgement and got punished against good players.”

The Gills struggled to make chances themselves but Harris knew his side would be up against it, saying: “Sunderland, with two experienced Championship centre halves, they dominated the middle of the pitch. We didn’t create as much as we have done in the other games since I have been here, but I didn’t really expect us to do much different.

“If you said that we would get to 0-0 at 90 minutes I would have snapped your hand off, it was probably the game I feared more than any other game since I had been in charge because I know their quality and the work that Alex Neil (the Sunderland manager) would do in the two weeks without a game.

“I am not in a position to judge my players on what they didn’t do, I want to praise them for what they did do for 96 minutes, and know full well that level of performance, commitment, desire and defensive mindset will set us up well for the rest of the season.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More