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Matty Willock takes part in a practice game for Gillingham against Brighton at Priestfield

Matty Willock took another step towards making his competitive Gillingham debut after featuring in a behind closed doors match at Priestfield on Tuesday.

The former Manchester United midfielder hasn’t played since pre-season because of a hamstring injury.

He played just over an hour for the Gills against a Brighton development side and looked the part, according to boss Steve Evans.

Matty Willock is hoping to be back involved with the Gills this weekend
Matty Willock is hoping to be back involved with the Gills this weekend

Willock is set to be involved at the weekend when the Gills take on Bolton.

“He looks like a true specimen,” said Evans.

“We just need to get minutes into him now and that will come. There are a few of them missing minutes, but he will be in the 18 I think.

“When you look at the bench and see Matty Willock, is he a player who can play 20-30 minutes and change a game, be creative, strong and powerful? Yes.

“Will he lack that bit of finesse at times because his touch isn’t quite there? Maybe, but there is only one way he is going to get it.

“His running stats are now a lot higher than they were when he came in for pre-season. He must have gone away and had a good summer! Credit to the medical team, they have got him much fitter.”

Gills won their midweek practice match 2-1 with Mikael Mandron scoring one from the penalty spot and a second from close range.

“I was delighted with his second finish because he was in the box,” Evans commented.

“We have been talking to him since he joined us that he has spent a lot of time outside the box, but he is working hard and the whole group has been terrific.”

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