Lovell: "We will battle through"

Ian Henderson hat-trick inflicts defeat on Gills at Rochdale.

Steve Lovell says he is confident his Gillingham side can turn around their recent form, despite losing 3-0 at Rochdale on Saturday.

Having started the game well, Ian Henderson scored twice in a matter of minutes to inflict a sucker punch on the visitors, and although Lovell’s men had chances, they were unable to convert them prior to the interval. Henderson completed his hat-trick in the second half and Gills were left empty handed.

The Manager said the players need to learn the lessons and convert their opportunities when they come along.

He said: “We started very brightly, the best we’ve played for a while with the ball and then they get a goal. Bad defending, letting Henderson have too much space and he scores – that’s against the run of play and straight away you’re up against it again.

“We get crosses in the box, we don’t get anybody on the end of them or efforts go over the bar. It’s so frustrating and for all the good work we did to start with, they get the two goals and in the second half you’re chasing.

“The players need to look at themselves, not all of them as there were some good outstanding performances really by some of the boys out there.

“Whatever team I pick next Saturday, none of them can have a complaint if they are left out. I can’t wait too much longer for them to start performing, they haven’t, and hopefully we’ll have a couple of the boys back for next week for the Peterborough game and, to be honest, I’m looking forward to having them back.

“Defensively we have been sound all season, but today we have given them two goals, well three goals really.

“I thought Mark Byrne kept going, as did Dean Parrett. Callum Reilly never gave up, he kept going. But you can’t have only four or five performing. When we’ve won games before I’ve said I couldn’t name a man of the match because they’ve all been brilliant.

“Unfortunately in the last few weeks I haven’t been able to come off and say that. It needs to be addressed this week and everybody is in with a chance of playing.

“You just want to see character of people now who want to roll their sleeves up and have a go rather than see people feeling sorry for themselves. We are not going to do that as staff, we work hard every day to try and do it.

“The ones who will do it and want to work hard and put it right will be involved next Saturday, the ones that don’t won’t.”

Having started the game on the front foot, Lovell felt his players needed to take advantage of their early possession to maintain some momentum.

He added: “We had a number of crosses going in, and attempts, but we don’t get anybody on the end of them.

“In that first quarter of an hour, you stick a couple of those chances away then you’re in front. If you don’t, it stays 0-0 and they’re always going to get a lift, and they did. They scored two goals and they deserved their victory.

“You can’t make excuses, I’m not making excuses and I never will. You don’t get many chances away from home in a season and you’ve got to take them.

“The overall performance I thought, in the first-half, was good apart from the two goals. There’s no point performing and not getting anything out of it.

“It’s all about players going out there and doing things that you want them to do, and you’ve worked on. When you’re chasing you tend to see players doing what they want to do rather than sticking to the plan.

“They’ve all shown they can do it, but when you’re on a run of defeats perhaps they don’t have the confidence to do it. After the first ten minutes I was really pleased and I thought we were in the game but it becomes a worry when nothing seems to happen.

“They don’t mean to do what they’ve done today, but you are judged by what you do on the field. The boys know what’s letting them down.

“It’s a tough situation we are in now, but it’s a battle and we’ll get through it because we’re too good to be in this situation. We need to be all together.”