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Gillingham head to Portsmouth this Saturday with two games left of their League 1 season


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Gillingham manager Neil Harris is in bullish mood as their survival fight goes down to their final two games of the season.

The Gills drew their two matches over the Easter period to stay above the relegation zone by just a single point.

Manager Neil Harris thanks the Gillingham fans for their support on Monday Picture: KPI
Manager Neil Harris thanks the Gillingham fans for their support on Monday Picture: KPI

They head to Portsmouth for their penultimate fixture this Saturday before welcoming second-placed Rotherham to Priestfield on Saturday, April 30.

Harris believes they need to win at least one of those games but sees no reason why that can’t happen.

“We don’t fear going to Portsmouth, my team won’t fear going anywhere,” said the Gills boss, who has made a big impact since taking charge.

The Gills were odds-on for relegation before Harris took over but have picked up 21 points from his 16 games at the helm. They were on just 19 points from 28 games when he was appointed at the end of January.

Harris inherited a squad that have been beset with injury problems all season and he might be without more senior players this Saturday as full-back Robbie McKenzie limped off against Fleetwood on Monday while captain Stuart O’Keefe was substituted at half-time.

Striker Charlie Kelman looks set to be suspended after he was sent off against Fleetwood - although the club were considering appealing his red card.

Harris said: “We will have to see how it settles with Robbie but it was ankle ligament damage. We are what we are and it’s what we’ve got.

“I will find a way for us to compete at Portsmouth and hope that we have a little bit more quality and maybe a bit of luck would be nice as well!

“I think we need to win one of these games. We are capable of winning a game, certainly, we are capable of getting three or four points from the two games.

“We are going to be short of players again but we have to keep finding ways. I am agitated with not winning but the players are giving me their all so what more can I say?

Ben Reeves in action for Gillingham against Fleetwood Town Picture: KPI
Ben Reeves in action for Gillingham against Fleetwood Town Picture: KPI

“We want to be a physical, horrible Gillingham team to play against, no team should want to play against my teams. I said to the players, with a little bit more belief we win that game [against Fleetwood].”

McKenzie came off on Monday with ankle ligament damage and is a weekend doubt.

Harris is getting what he can out of his group but is asking for more. Effort and commitment can’t be questioned, but they need to turn that into wins.

He said: “I can’t keep sugar-coating the players. We should have won the game [on Monday], we should play better than that and win. I have told them that.

“If you would have said two-and-a-half months ago that we would be out of the relegation zone with two games to go, having picked up 21 points, I would have been absolutely delighted, buzzing. But I want us to play better.”

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