Assistant manager David Kerslake believes the Gills dug in against Coventry City

Assistant manager David Kerslake praised the battling qualities of the Gills in the goalless draw with Coventry City at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

Justin Edinburgh named an unchanged team from the XI that beat Bury on Easter Monday, but the Gills failed to carve out many chances of note. Goalkeeper Stuart Nelson tipped two efforts from Jacob Murphy and Marcus Tudgay onto the bar in the final 15 minutes, and while Kerslake agreed that although the Gills weren’t at their best, he was pleased with their fighting spirit.

“We’re deeply disappointed we haven’t taken three (points), but I think it probably wasn’t one of our better performances,” he said. “We dug in when we needed too, and maybe with a little bit of luck, a little bit of run of the ball, we might have nicked it.

“We still have ambitions – we’re going to try to win all our remaining games.”

Kerslake was particularly pleased with the performance of the back three of Deji Oshilaja, Max Ehmer and Adam El-Abd; the latter was voted Man of the Match by sponsors Avante Care.

He added: “I thought the three centre halves were outstanding today. The gaffer’s been working with them in training, as he has done all season, and every time they go out we expect a clean sheet.”

The recently injured duo of John Egan and Cody McDonald both made the bench for the Gills squad today, and Bradley Dack was seen warming up just before the game. 

Kerslake commented on the lift that their return has given the squad, saying: “It’s a huge boost watching John coming back into the squad and training. Dacky is chomping at the bit – he wanted to be involved today.

“Bradley will get some sort of game on Tuesday with the under 21s. Cody will play there and we’ll sharpen him up. Things are looking good.”

The Gillingham assistant manager also confirmed that Dominic Samuel’s injury is not expected to be serious, while Ryan Jackson was taken off as a precaution.

There were 7,200 fans at MEMS Priestfield, the second largest crowd of the season, and Kerslake made special mention of the fans’ energy.

“I though the support was terrific today," he added. "We weren’t at our best but they did keep trying when we went forward, or when we got a corner."