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Hessenthaler: "We'll take the positives"

Gills midfielder reacts following 0-0 draw with Walsall.

17 February 2018

Hess frustrated as Gills held at home.

Man-of-the-match Jake Hessenthaler spoke of his disappointment that the Gills failed to get all three points against the Saddlers on Saturday afternoon, with the Gills drawing a blank for the first time at MEMS Priestfield Stadium in 2018.

Gills were unable to break down the Walsall defence and get the goal that would have moved them closer towards the top six but Hessenthaler was keen to remain upbeat and take the positives from the 0-0 draw.

Hessenthaler felt that a Gillingham goal in the first half would have changed the complexion of the game completely given Walsall’s defensive strategy but saw the point as another gained in the quest to stay in League One.

“It’s very frustrating. Based on chances created, we could have won the game. I don’t think it was one of our better performances but we’re still disappointed not to come away with all three points.

“If Eavesy scores one of his chances in the first half, then I think we would have gone on to win the game three or four nil. But, you’ve got to take the positives from it: it’s another point, a clean sheet and it’s another game unbeaten here.

“It is a point gained because it’s closer to the [survival] mark. We could have picked up two more points but we’re not going to get down about it.”

Despite hitting the woodwork twice in the game, Hessenthaler was quick to praise Tom Eaves for his contribution throughout the season.

“You’ve just got to keep going. He’s in great scoring form at the minute and he’s been superb for us this season.

“It happens sometimes, and I’m sure on Tuesday night he’ll be back firing.”

Hessenthaler also spoke of the freedom it gave him and his team-mates to harry and hassle the opposition, commenting:

“It gives me a licence to go and press. Any style or formation that we’ve been playing in under the new gaffer is all about pressing high and work-rate.

“That’s my game – getting in people’s faces. It gives me the licence to go and do that and I think we get a lot of joy out of it. As players, we’re winning the ball high and expressing ourselves.”

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