Post-match reaction from a proud Gills manager.
Gills boss Neil Harris said he was delighted to have secured a point at Morecambe on Saturday, but admitted there was an element of disappointment having conceded an equalizer just six minutes before the end of normal time.
In a competitive affair at the Mazuma Stadium in difficult conditions, Gills had taken the lead courtesy of a sensational strike from sub Ryan Jackson, only for Jonathan Obika to find the net in the closing stages to ensure the points were shared in a 1-1 draw.
Aaron Chapman made two strong saves to make sure the visitors took a hard-fought point back to Kent.
Speaking after the game, the manager said: “We battled, we were resolute when we had to be. I thought it was probably our worst performance [of the four fixtures he has taken charge] but arguably so because of our fourth game in ten days.
“It was a real tough ask for them. Truth be told, we just didn’t have the energy or the legs. We had to do what we had to do and I’m absolutely delighted with a point, I would have liked to have had three but Morecambe deserved at least a point.
“It builds the momentum, belief, and keeps us going. It was backs to the wall at times in tough conditions.
“When you are 1-0 up away from home with four minutes to go, there is a tinge of disappointment in me. We didn’t deserve to win the game, on the level of play, I’ve got to be honest.
“We didn’t do enough to win the game; Morecambe had a lot of the Football, they didn’t cause us too many issues other than a couple of set pieces in the first half. What it highlighted today is that I’ve got a group that are going to give me everything, who can dig in and defend.
“We’ve got moments of quality, we need to be better with the ball, that’s for sure, because we gave ourselves too many problems when we turn the ball over cheaply. Positives; I’ve been here 12 days and we look like a team that is willing to fight, be organized, structured but, again, the same group of players that have pretty much played every minute of every game since I’ve been here, barring Danny Lloyd, because we just haven’t got the strength in depth at the moment with the injuries.”
Harris praised his squad for a run of form that has seen them take seven points from a possible 12, having not won since October prior to his arrival.
He added: “Seven points out of 12 off the back of three wins after 27 games is a great achievement for the players.
“We knew it was going to be tough today, I played down the length of journey off the back of four games in the days. It’s been monumental for the lads, they are shattered downstairs.
“If I feel it’s a must win game I will say it; today I didn’t feel that at all, I thought it was important for us not to lose the game to keep that momentum. Of the four games we’ve got seven points.
“We haven’t stopped. The players have been great. Now is a chance to take a step back, deep breath, great, come back in next week.
“I am thoroughly enjoying it; I enjoyed today. I want to see my team play better. I have to put demands on the players as well. I can’t just sugar coat it, we have to play better than that with the Football, but they will.
“We’ve got what we’ve got at the moment and it’s up to me to coach in the best possible way in a formation and style of play that gets results.
“Getting Muzzy and Ben back fit in the next couple of games would be heaven for us, just to have that bit of experience and bit of quality. Getting them on the grass this week will be pivotal to us moving forwards with the next two home games and I am quietly confident we will see them.”
Just shy of 300 supporters made the trip to the Mazuma Stadium, and the Gills boss showed his gratitude for such excellent backing in foul weather.
He added: “The fans came again and got behind us for the fourth game in a row. I understand there were a few issues [travel wise] on the way up, a longer journey.
“They got behind the group, it [the goal] was a magic spark of the day and people will go home delighted they were here to see that along with the effort the players put in, and their commitment to the Football Club.”