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Lovell: "I'm pleased for the boys"

Steve Lovell disappointed not to win but takes positives from Bury draw.

11 November 2017

Caretaker boss Steve Lovell was pleased with Gillingham’s second-half performance as a battling display earnt the Gills a point against Bury on Saturday afternoon.

Despite being forced to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw with Bury, Gillingham Caretaker Manager Steve Lovell was delighted to see his side bounce back from a difficult first period to dominate the second and earn a point which could easily have been all three.

Neil Danns gave Bury the advantage at half-time with a low strike after he was left with too much time and space in the box. However, Gillingham equalised in the final ten minutes when Josh Parker headed home Lee Martin’s corner but were unable to find a second, and a potential winner, despite piling the pressure on the Shakers.

Lovell spoke about how he was forced to tinker with his formation in the first half to cancel out the threat of an impressive Bury outfit and was pleased to see his players adapt to the changes in a resurgent second period from the Gills.

“First half, they caused us a lot of problems and they played some really good stuff. I was a bit concerned coming into this one about how they would play, with a caretaker manager as everybody wants to prove themselves.

“We had to try three different formations in the first half. They had a spare man in midfield, so we tried to change it. We work on these different formations so that when it is called upon they can do it, and that’s what pleased me more than anything.

“I enjoy seeing problems: on the training ground these problems come up and I’ll step in and go through it with them so they all know their roles and responsibilities.”

The Gills dominated the second half and Lovell felt that if they could have scored slightly earlier they would have gone on to win the game, commenting:

“We just needed to score one a little bit earlier. We’ve had two or three really good opportunities to score before Josh [Parker] got his goal, and if we did I think we would have gone on to win it.

“I told the boys that [Bury] will want to sit back and win the game 1-0 and so my mentality was to have a go at them, really take the game to them. They were hanging on in the end.

“I would have felt much better if we got the second goal as I felt the performance merited that second half – it was one of the best performances in a half this year and I’m so pleased for them.”

Finally, Lovell commented on the hunger and appetite that the Gills exhibited in the second half.

“We’re passionate people behind the scenes at this football club and I believe it is rubbing off on the players. We want to win games, and we will win more than we lose if we keep playing as we are.

“We won a lot of second balls in the second half and all the boys worked their socks off.

“Lee Martin has come in at the end of the game to say that it could be a massive point come the end of the season and he’s right. All the boys worked their socks off and I’m delighted for them.”

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