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Macca reflects on Plymouth defeat

Alex MacDonald spoke to the press following Saturday's narrow defeat at Home Park.

4 January 2021

Midfielder disappointed to leave Plymouth empty handed.

Alex MacDonald said there was “nobody more disappointed with the result than our players” after Gillingham dominated without reward on Saturday in their Sky Bet League One 1-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

The Gills impressed for long periods, coming within a whisker of an equaliser at the death, but they were again left to rue missed chances as Argyle’s Luke Jephcott’s decisive first-half strike proved the difference between the sides.

The Gills midfielder said after the loss: “It is a hard one to take at this minute in time. Nobody is more frustrated than those bodies in the dressing room. When you are coming away from a 1-0 defeat it is hard to pick out the positives straight away when your emotions are still high. We were so dominant, especially in the second half, we just lacked that final touch or that final pass and that let us down today.

“The heart, endeavour and the desire to try and win games is there and when you have a young group of players that is a positive sign. It’s up to me and a couple of the older lads to well and truly keep the boys on track. We have to try and keep upbeat.”

The biggest positive for the Gills was the impressive return of creative-winger Jordan Graham who stepped back on the pitch after a lengthy injury lay-off, and the playmaker looked back to his menacing best.

MacDonald said: “Jordan Graham was firing on all cylinders and putting great deliveries into the box. Jordan gives you that outlet, he’s an old-school out-and-out winger and his quality is there for everyone to see. We are lucky to have players like him and Kyle Dempsey.

“Tommy (Tom O’Connor) got up and down really well today. He was a danger on that left-hand side and he was a real threat going forward. There was quality on both sides but we need to be a little bit sharper in both boxes.”

Gillingham return to action on Saturday when they face basement side Burton Albion, but MacDonald is not anticipating an easy afternoon. The Brewers, who have won just two of their league games this year and are currently on a five match losing streak, are now under the leadership of former Dutch international and Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Hasselbaink previously led Burton to the League Two title in 2015 and will be eager to start his second stint at the club with a positive result at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

MacDonald said: “Whenever a club has got a new manager it is going to be a real lift for them and will galvanise their spirit. Whenever you play against a team who are low in the table and are fighting for their lives it makes it a tough game. We will be well prepared, that is for sure.

“We have a full week of training ahead. We are going to go in to that now and roll up our sleeves on Monday morning. It’s all about working hard for next Saturday. When we are ‘on it’ and working as hard as we know we can, and with the quality we have in the team, we are a match for anyone in this division.”

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