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Lovell: "An outstanding team effort"

Gills boss heaps praise on players following 2-1 win over Fleetwood.

27 January 2018

Fourth straight win delights Lovell.

Gillingham Manager Steve Lovell thought his side were good value for their 2-1 win over Fleetwood, deeming the performance as the best at MEMS Priestfield Stadium since he took over as Manager.

Paddy Madden gave Fleetwood a half-time lead, but a corner from Luke O’Neill was flicked home as Tom Eaves challenged a Fleetwood defender at the near post to level the game up shortly after the break.

Despite intense Gillingham pressure, the game appeared to be wandering to a draw before the outstanding Callum Reilly was brought down in the box and Eaves slotted the penalty home in front of a jubilant, and packed, Rainham End.

The Gills came from a goal behind for the second time in a week, and Lovell was delighted with the team’s performance throughout the game.

“We were excellent on the ball today, when we got it down and passed it we played really well. In the end the pressure told and we got the win we deserved.

“I’m very happy, not just with the result, but with the performance. I don’t think anybody in this ground can say that we didn’t deserve that victory. It was an outstanding team performance.

“That’s probably the best we’ve played at home since I’ve been in charge. Some of the football was first class, and that’s the best performance from the majority of our team in a while.

“It’s all credit to the players – they are the ones out there doing all of the hard work and it is really enjoyable for us to see them doing it.”

The midfield, including new loan signing Callum Reilly making his first home appearance for the Club, were singled out for particular praise and Lovell was keen to laud Gills captain Lee Martin.

“The midfield were fantastic – all of them. They call it the engine room, and it has been since we took over.

“Lee Martin is quality and today I thought he was outstanding. He leads by example, people look up to him and he’s a winner.

“I don’t think you can get a better player than Lee. I’m so lucky to have him. His energy levels, his organisational skills, his leadership –he was fantastic.”

Finally, Lovell commented on his frame of mind before Tom Eaves stroked home the winning penalty.

“I was a bit nervous about Tom, because he’s taken a couple in the past and they haven’t been the best. But when you have a goalscorer in form, how can you stop him?

“We’ve had a discussion about [who is the designated penalty taker] – Mark Byrne has missed two, Luke O’Neill fancies himself doing it in training. But Tom picks the ball up and puts it on the spot – that’s good enough for me. It was a great penalty.”

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