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Gillingham 3 Charlton 1: Match reaction from Gills assistant Paul Raynor

By Luke Cawdell

That’s more like it said assistant boss Paul Raynor after Gillingham deservedly beat Charlton on Saturday.

Raynor was keen for the Gills to show they can be more solid, after giving their other pre-season opponents too many opportunities, and they did just that, against a Charlton side lavished with quality upfront.

An enjoyable game ended in a 3-1 win to Gillingham, with second half goal goals from Mikael Ndjoli and Elliott List adding to Stuart O’Keefe’s early opener.

Hear the thoughts of the Gills assistant boss Paul Raynor below

Connor Ogilvie in action for the Gills second half Picture: Ady Kerry (14058512)
Connor Ogilvie in action for the Gills second half Picture: Ady Kerry (14058512)

Report: Gillingham 3 Charlton 1

Raynor said: “It was excellent, a good workout against good opposition and it was a proper game. There were some tackles flying in, albeit friendly ones, nothing too silly, but we got out of it just what we needed.

“We have been working on things in training, about our shape, and we spoke about that after the game against Dartford, about when we have the ball and being a little more solid.

“You could see the fruits of our labour, in terms of what we have been working on. We looked a lot more solid, we weren’t as gung-ho and we were a real threat in possession as well, so we’re delighted.”

Boss Steve Evans echoed those words, saying: "Our shape and discipline out of possession was very good."

A front three of Lyle Taylor, Chuks Aneke and Macauley Bonne certainly gave the Gills plenty to think about.

“It’s about putting into practice what you do on the training field,” said assistant manager Raynor.

Macauley Bonne runs at Alfie Jones and Max Ehmer Picture: Ady Kerry (14058970)
Macauley Bonne runs at Alfie Jones and Max Ehmer Picture: Ady Kerry (14058970)

“They are going to have to work incredibly hard without the ball and if they don’t buy into it you have a problem, but they are all buying into it, they want to be a part of it and it is very refreshing, it’s good.

“Let’s not forget, Charlton got promoted last year, they are the standard for what we are going to try and achieve, that is going to be very difficult, but they are a good side, they have some good players and some talented players, I thought we dealt with their threat really well.”

The Gills had plenty of chances, particularly the first half, and showed a bit of what they could be about this season.

“I am delighted with all of the guys going forward,” said the Gills no.2.

“I thought we were a real threat and created opportunities in what was a good defence as well that Charlton put on.

“It’s still pre-season and we aren’t getting carried away, it’s a good win, we’ll take it and enjoy it and then we will have to go again tomorrow.”

Regan Charles-Cook goes down under a challenge from Jason Pearce Picture: Ady Kerry (14058968)
Regan Charles-Cook goes down under a challenge from Jason Pearce Picture: Ady Kerry (14058968)

Gillingham face Millwall at Priestfield on Sunday (1pm kick off).

It will be a big test for Gills’ squad as they look to complete two games against Championship opposition in 24 hours.

Raynor said: “We will look at the data and that is the good thing we’ve got, with the sports science side of it, we can look and see who has worked particularly hard and who needs less minutes.

“We will put together a side that is fresh as can be. We purposely put these games together and it was difficult getting the quality opposition so late, but it was a case of let’s get this opposition in.

“It’s tough for us but it’s going to be a real learning curve. We are starting to learn what we are about, what we are trying to do and the work ethic was there for everyone to see. The boys are really taking it on board and trying to do it.”

Lee Hodson (concussion) and Matty Willock (virus) are both hoping to be involved while Raynor also confirmed that young keeper Joe Walsh would also play in the game.

Read more: The latest sports news from Kent

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