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Lovell | "A thoroughly deserved point"

Gaffer praises players for effort shown in 0-0 draw with Blackburn.

10 April 2018

Gills boss deliighted with work ethic as his team take a point from promotion chasing Blackburn at Priestfield.

Gillingham Manager Steve Lovell was delighted to see his side put in an impressive performance against Blackburn Rovers to earn a 0-0 draw, subduing their potent attacking force and creating the better chances through the game.

It marked a second successive clean sheet against the team leading the league going into the fixture and that boasted the talents of ex-Gillingham midfielder Bradley Dack in their numbers.

Josh Parker on his return to the Gills team had the best chances in the game seeing a first half header just clawed out by David Raya, before his first touch let him down as he raced clean in on goal allowing the Rovers keeper to come and claim.

Tomas Holy was rarely troubled although he did get down well to push the ball clear on a number of occasions, most notably from a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick in the second period.

Lovell praised his players for responding to Saturday's performance against Doncaster and competing for every ball against Rovers.

“It was a very good performance against the league leaders going into tonight’s game. It was important that we came out and were bright. We started the game well which we didn’t do on Saturday.

“They had a bit of possession but they never really hurt us and we had the best opportunities to win the game. They all put a shift in – that’s what you’ve got to do with the better teams in this league – and we thoroughly deserved a point.

“You’re playing against players that are going to be in the Championship next season, so it’s all credit to the boys. Our game plan was to let them have the ball in their own half and then try to nick it and hit them on the counter attack.

“Tomas Holy had a couple of saves to make but they were saves that I would expect him to make, they were routine.”

Josh Parker and Callum Reilly were brought back into the side by Lovell and he was delighted with the impact that both players made.

“Josh has done well for us tonight. We have missed him in the team and he proved that tonight. He brings a lot of energy to our team and he had an excellent game – it would have crowned it if he had got the goal.

“It’s no coincidence that he’s our second top scorer behind Tom [Eaves].

“Callum is a very good player and that’s why I wanted to get him here in January. He can play off any side, his right or his left foot.

“You wouldn’t have thought he had been out three or four games. He had a shot that Max [Ehmer] blocked in the first half but he grew as the game went on and he brings something to our side.”

Finally, Lovell was glad to hear the fans respond to the improved performance and wants the Gills to put in more performances like they did tonight to keep Priestfield in fine voice.

“It helps the players, it helps all of us. It was lovely to hear the fans and I just wish we could have got the goal at the end for them.

“We want to entertain and apart from one or two little halves this year we have done that and we will continue to do that until the end of the season – we want to finish as high as we can.”


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