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Interviews

Harris | "We won't fall short on effort"

Gills boss prepares for the visit of Salford.

3 December 2022

Interviews

Harris | "We won't fall short on effort"

Gills boss prepares for the visit of Salford.

3 December 2022

The thoughts of manager Neil Harris ahead of the weekend's early kick-off.

An optimistic Neil Harris faced the media ahead of Gillingham's first ever encounter with Salford City as their Sky Bet League Two battle rages on before attention returns again to the FA Cup where a replay victory over Dagenham would land his side a plum tie with top-tier heavyweights Leicester City.

Finding the perfect starting eleven, a possible third Premier League opponent of the season, giving youth a chance, making moves in the transfer market... and the small matter of England's progress in the World Cup; it's a busy time for the boss.

 

This is what he had to say...

 

 

Salford on Saturday

 

"They have good players and a big squad. I have watched some of their games, they want to play and they can also mix it as well. 

 

"They are a side with huge resources but haven't quite hit the level they had hoped to be at this year. It is a challenge for us but it is an opportunity for us to get back to winning ways."

 

 

Starting eleven

 

"It is down to whoever starts to put in a performance and try and keep the shirt. I am looking at individuals who are trying to be the best they can be. I do not doubt any of my individual players' desire. I do not question my players' attitude or application. 

 

"We have been short in that we don't score enough goals. All you can do is to ask the players to keep putting themselves in the positions to score goals and do that as a creative unit. I will put a team out and they will have a right go. We won't fall short on effort.

 

"They have my full support and backing. I want them to go out on the pitch and be the best version of themselves they can be."

 

 

Dagenham replay

 

"I absolutely love the FA Cup, love it.

 

"The best team will deserve to win the game. It is a great opportunity for the players to show that desire to get through.

 

"The reward of playing Leicester is a great one for both clubs. Whoever gets through between us and Dagenham, hopefully it us, then they can look forward to playing a well-established Premier League team at their stadium. Any footballer wants to pit themselves against top opponents and that is what Leicester are."

 

 

Joe Gbode

 

"His opportunity has come about because other players haven't played so well. He's done alright. He has that beauty of youth; he is raw and he plays without fear. He is a raw talent and he is going to be a good football player at this Club for a long time. I thought I would put him in to galvanise the fanbase and also the dressing room would look at it and say 'the Gaffer is not afraid to put youngsters in if I am not performing.'

 

"He has impressed me in training and his professional standards as a 17-year-old lad have impressed me as well. He has a long way to go to be a regular in this side but he will be ready to take his opportunities."

 

 

Callum Harriott

 

"He won't be making an appearance for a few weeks.

 

"Callum is a sprinter, a ball carrier and he plays with energy. The threat of playing a player like that too soon is the risk of injury. We are not prepared to do that to Callum or ourselves.

 

"He has come on a short-term deal to prove himself. We will have a look at him, and he will have a look at us and see if we are a good fit for each other."

 

 

Business in the background

 

"I've got my hands full with the football, let's be honest! I know talks are ongoing in the background, but I'm not going to second guess or overthink things. I need to concentrate on my group and help the recruitment department have a clearer idea of what we might do in January. I need to just concentrate on the football."

 

 

Adding to the group

 

"I am quite clear where I need to add to the group. I know where we need to add an injection of personnel. Naturally there will be some who will want to move on and I will facilitate that if I can.

 

"In every transfer window people would like a change. It's not about 'him out, him out, him out and him in'. Sometimes it is about adding to the group, adding quality to combinations. Have I got the right combinations on the right and left side of the pitch, centre-half, centre-midfield, centre-forwards? I'm mindful of the goalkeeper scenario and where we are at with one fit senior goalkeeper. There is lots to consider." 

 

 

It's coming home?

 

"I have been massively enjoying the World Cup and I am delighted with England. I am delighted with topping the group with seven points. They have had two really good performances and one battling performance against USA. I look forward to Senegal on Sunday evening. I am delighted it is Sunday evening and not Saturday at 3:00. Our staff, players and fanbase will sit down and enjoy the game.

 

"It's been a great competition so far. I wasn't a fan of a December World Cup but I think we are seeing players at their best, that's for sure. We are good enough to win it but we are going to have to beat some good teams along the way. It will be hard but we are capable of doing it."


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