Gills boss reacts following crucial win at Accrington.
Neil Harris heaped praise on his Gills players after they showed incredible resilience and fighting spirit to overcome a strong Accrington Stanley team 2-1 at the Wham Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The manager said the performance may not have been one of the best since he took over, but couldn’t fault his men with Charlie Kelman and Vadaine Oliver both finding the net in the second half.
A late Colby Bishop penalty put pressure on the Gills defence, but they stood firm to record a crucial win.
Speaking after the game, Neil said: “I wouldn’t particularly say we deserved to win the game on chances. I thought we were very wasteful with possession in the first half when we got into good areas. First and foremost, Accrington have had a great season so far. I know they will be disappointed today, they have won their last four home games and they’ve beaten a lot of really good teams.
"We knew it was going to be a real challenge, we knew it would be tough and we knew we would have to stand up physically and for the majority of the game we did - there were a few choice words form myself at half-time about our lack of quality and physicality of a couple of players who didn’t do enough for me in the first half.
“Key moments, goalkeeper, great saves, at the other end, two clear cut chances and we put the ball in the net.
“Football is about scoring goals at the key times, and winning games. Today, credit to my players for finding a way.
“Today maybe wasn't the performance that I wanted or expected, but they found a way to win.”
It was a day for being strong at both ends of the pitch; Aaron Chapman made one outstanding save when the scores were at 0-0 before Kelman and Oliver took the Gills two best opportunities at key times when the tie remained in the balance, and the boss was delighted with those three individuals in particular.
He added: “My Goalkeeper was “Man of the Match” for me, I thought he was excellent and my centre forwards were really good. At key moments you need your goalkeeper to stand strong, and he did. Charlie Kelman, I’ve talked about before, he has got the ability to score goals at this level, I believe, if he’s got the confidence in himself and big V is a handful. He showed his aggression and what he’s about, going up against a young goalkeeper.
"I am pleased with the three points. It's now about preparing the players for next week. It gives us confidence and belief, but we have achieved nothing yet."