Lovell | "Everybody rolled their sleeves up"

Lovell to attack at Wycombe in search of more vital points.

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell was left a proud man after his side performed with attacking verve against Sunderland but gutted to see sloppy goals undo the good work going forward.

The Gills twice fought back in the first half to equalise through opportunistic strikes from Tom Eaves and Brandon Hanlan after conceding from two corners – Cattermole and Flanagan the scorers. In the second half, however, two penalties from Grigg and McGeady secured the Black Cats all three points.

Both of Sunderland’s two goals in the first half came from corners and Lovell was disappointed to see his side concede in such a manner.

“I thought we competed all game and I am just disappointed to lose the game like we did. Again we conceded early from a set play which has been our downfall all season.

“Everybody has their responsibilities and their roles and two of the people who scored weren’t marked. We have to be a lot stronger from set plays. It’s disappointing to give them the goals.

“When the third goal went in we had a mountain to climb and when the fourth went it there was no time.”

As with the reverse fixture at Priestfield, the Gills took the game to their opponents and Lovell reaffirmed his commitment to playing with the attacking diamond where possible.

“If I can get the diamond out that’s the way I play – I enjoy it. We play well in the shape we play and we create things but we have to do better defensively and we have to do it quickly.

“I expect to come here and get something – if we didn’t there is no point coming. We came here with a game-plan and had a right go at them.

“We have to take the positives out of it and if we perform like that against Wycombe on Saturday we’ll be fine.

“The game was very open and I felt there were spaces out there to exploit and I think we did that.”

Finally, Lovell confirmed that Billy Bingham missed the long trip up North as a precaution and should be fit for Wycombe on Saturday on a big night for Gills youngster DJ Oldaker.

“Billy’s ankle has swelled up so we didn’t want to risk him. I’d rather have him fit for Saturday and ready to go for Wycombe.

“It was a good experience for DJ and he would have learnt a lot from tonight.”