Lovell | "It was a frustrating night"

Lovell reflects on Rotherham defeat.

Gillingham Manager Steve Lovell was left disappointed following Gills 1-0 defeat to Rotherham on Tuesday night at Priestfield.

A brilliant strike from Will Vaulks in the first half secured the Millers all three points  with Josh Parker’s header ruled out for offside in the first half and Jake Hessenthaler’s strike in stoppage time kept out by the visiting keeper.

The result leaves the Gills still looking nervously over their shoulders, and Lovell felt that his side were lacking the quality to break down Rotherham and that the direct option was taken far too frequently in a performance that ranked as the most disappointing during his reign.

“From a personal point of view, we were too direct today. There weren’t enough options on the ball and I felt at times that they were quicker than us in certain situations.

“They all work hard and give everything, but you’ve got have that little bit of quality at the end of it and that was missing from certain individuals. You can’t legislate for that.

“We started quite brightly but they have one shot, it’s gone in, and that’s what has won them the game. It’s the most disappointing night since I took charge in October.”

Reflecting on a dip in form as the season reaches its climax, Lovell said he will convey the importance of restoring the fundamentals of their play that saw them surge clear of the relegation zone.

“It’s very disappointing because we have put in some really good performances this year to get to where we are in the league, but tonight was a very disappointing performance.

“[Rotherham] reminded me of the way we were six weeks ago. They were hungry, they were quick to close down and tonight we weren’t.

“We’ve worked hard to try and get the best out of them and I think we have. We’ve squeezed everything out of them.”

Lovell spoke of the frustration felt around the camp with the Gills struggling to carry their momentum into the close season and wants to see the joy return in the final three games of the campaign, starting against Blackpool in a game which Lovell suggested changes in personnel.

“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for the supporters – which I can understand – it’s frustrating for me and it’s frustrating for the players.

“I feel very passionately about what we do and how we work. Our boys are professionals – they get paid to entertain and so they should be.

“There are three games to go. We’ve got to try and get back to some sort of normality and give the crowd something to cheer.

“There’ll be changes [for the Blackpool match] – there will definitely be changes after tonight.”