Summer arrival delivers his verdict on defeat in Shropshire.
Gills lost 2-1 away at Shrewsbury on Saturday, and Ben Reeves said the group were disappointed not to take at least a point having come on as a second-half substitute in the defeat.
It was a frustrating afternoon for the squad as the hosts came from behind to secure all three points. Reeves realises that the loss means a different outlook on the start of the season.
“We’re disappointed with it. Had we come away with a win, we would’ve probably been pleased because we had a COVID outbreak. Meaning a lot of the boys didn’t have many pre-season minutes in their legs. We’ve had a few injuries, and the boys have done well to get stuck in.”
It has been a difficult start for the first-team squad, with the COVID outbreak shortening their pre-season. That ultimately led to players struggling for fitness and knocks piling up.
Despite this, the Gills squad have managed to battle through the rigorous schedule to date. The 29-year-old is impressed with how his teammates have coped across the opening month of the season.
“A lot of the boys have played more games than they have trained in the last six weeks. With that COVID outbreak, it was hard because of no pre-season games, and suddenly you’re going into Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday.
“Physically, the boys have dealt with it well. In the first half that showed on Saturday, and physically we looked very capable. Even throughout the game, we looked fit. So hopefully, we can build on that in training over the next week with some big games ahead for us.
“There have been players that have trained once or twice but played six or seven games. It’s been play-recover, play-recover.”
With the season well underway, the Gills squad will have a much-needed rest, with the game against Charlton postponed due to the international break.
Reeves admits that the majority of the squad are almost back to full fitness and is now looking ahead to the next week on how it can help them throughout the season.
“We’re at a level now, where we’ve got through those first three or four games, and now the boys are pretty much there. It’s just a matter of touching upon game management and having the professionalism to finish games strong.”