Lovell: "I’m disappointed that we didn’t get three points"

Steve Lovell addressed the media after Gillingham's 0-0 draw with Walsall at Priestfield.

Gillingham Manager Steve Lovell was disappointed that the Gills were unable to claim all three points against Walsall at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon, however he used the frustration to show how far the Gills have come since he took over.

In a game where quality was at a premium as the Saddlers sat deep to frustrate the Gills and break up play in the middle of the pitch, Gills top scorer Tom Eaves struck the woodwork twice but was unable to bag a winning goal in the 0-0 draw.

In the first half a towering header beat Roberts in the Walsall goal but flicked off the bar and over, before Eaves’ shot on the turn from the edge of the six-yard box slammed into the post midway through the second period.

Lovell felt the Gills weren’t quite able to reach the level they have displayed in recent games and when asked how he felt in the press conference, he answered:

“Frustration. One word. They defended reasonably well, but we had three or four really good opportunities the first half and the same in the second half.

“I think we could be out there now and we still wouldn’t have scored. We should have put the game to bed, but we didn’t and it’s another point. We just didn’t finish the game off today.

“It wasn’t the best game of football in the world, but sometimes you’ve got to win ugly. We created chances but didn’t take them.

“It’s a level of performance – we have set ourselves a benchmark of how we want to play with the football and we couldn’t do that today.”

Taking over with the Gills deep in the relegation mire, Lovell thought that the disappointment him and the players were feeling was an indicator of the progression of this team since he took over.

“45 points at this stage of the season – in October it didn’t look possible.

“We’re in the middle of the table at the minute, but we’ve still got 13 games to go and there’s a lot of points to be gained.

“You take every game as it comes, and obviously I’m disappointed that we didn’t get three points because we should have.”

“Perhaps back in October I’d be sitting here happy that we picked up another point, but not today.”

The game was the third in a week, and Lovell thought the team were slightly leggy which was one reason the Gills didn’t quite hit their recent highs and may come into consideration when picking a team for table-topping Shrewsbury on Tuesday.

“I think a few of the boys looked tired today. We didn’t play with the sharpness that have done in recent weeks. We looked a bit leggy, so we’ll take that into consideration when we pick a team for Tuesday.

“[Lee] Martin had a kick on the foot in training on Thursday. He wanted to play today and take tablets, injections and all sorts – that’s the character he is – but we thought it was better not to risk him.”