Lovell | "A very poor performance"

Shrews leave Kent with all three points.

Steve Lovell called on his Gills players to respond next week after he described Saturday’s defeat to Shrewsbury as the worst since taking charge 18 months ago.

Second half goals from James Bolton and Tyrese Campbell sealed a deserved three points for the visitors, as the Gills slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Shrewsbury.

Speaking after the game, Lovell said: “It was the worst performance by my team since I’ve been in charge. Even when we went to Southend last Easter, we showed something. Today there was nothing there at all. I don’t know where it came from, but there are no excuses for it. I feel sorry for all the supporters who turned up today and watched that.”

Lovell lamented a poor performance, but praised the performance of Brandon Hanlan, who impressed once again: “There were certain players out there today who didn’t do themselves any justice, they might have had good seasons up until now, but there is still four games to go. We just didn’t perform. Brandon Hanlan, I thought was magnificent, he ran his heart out and gave everything and that was what a lot of them didn’t do today.”

Plymouth visit Priestfield on Friday, with Saturday’s defeat putting greater emphasis on the game, Lovell said: “It makes next week’s game even bigger. They lost again today and we’re still four points outside the bottom four. We have to do something next Friday, and it has to be better than it was today otherwise it’ll be the same outcome."

Despite Billy Bingham hitting the post in the opening exchanges, Gillingham failed to reach top gear as Shrewsbury came out comfortable winners: “There was no intensity, no spark and it was so lacklustre, which is unlike us," added Lovell. "They really dug in and defended very well and got their bodies in when they needed to. They deserved their win and there aren’t many positives we can take from the game. They outplayed us in every department.”

Gills sit just four points off the relegation zone, and with four games to go, Lovell is targeting a win to assure safety: “We don’t want to be pulled into it (the relegation zone) so we have to be positive, we will train hard, like we have been doing. There were too many people off it today, which hasn’t happened this season.”