Defender reacts to Crawley draw.
Will Wright said Gillingham put in a performance to be proud of against Crawley, after a disappointing defeat to Newport at the weekend.
A frustrated Neil Harris called for a response following Saturday's game and his words seem to have fired up the players.
“We were much better,” said Wright after the hard-fought 0-0. “We were more of a Gillingham side the fans would want to see and we played on the front foot. We just lacked that bit of quality and composure in the final third.
“We weren’t happy with Saturday and the Gaffer wasn’t happy. He hit home with a few home truths. We needed a reaction and, bar scoring, he got one.”
The reaction could have been even stronger had Gillingham been awarded a penalty when Wright was tugged down in the box, but, with luck the way it is, the referee waved away Gillingham’s protests.
“I think it was a penalty,” said Wright. “I dragged their player wide and when he looked away I darted inside him, he knew he was the wrong side. He made sure I wasn’t going to get there and had his arm around my neck and allsorts. It should have been given but the luck at the moment is not going our way.”
Gillingham fans were, however, treated to an exciting league debut from 17-year-old Joe Gbode. The striker looked sharp every time he got hold of the ball and Wright said it didn’t come as a shock as he is similarly frightening in training.
“Gbode was brilliant and did exactly what you would have wanted from him,” he said. “He is a nuisance, he is raw and he leaves everything out on the pitch. No fear, lots of courage and he just chased everything down. We couldn’t have expected much more than what he has given us tonight. If he could have topped it off with a goal it would have been perfect. It’s something he can be proud of and something to build on.”
The Gills’ attention now turns to the FA Cup this Saturday and Wright, who has over 130 appearances for their opponents Dagenham & Redbridge, would like nothing more than to put on another good performance but this time get the goals they deserve.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Dagenham a lot more after tonight,” he said. “They have firepower all over the pitch and are a free-flowing side. We will go there, away from the league, and put on a show and play with a bit more freedom. I don’t want to go there and get beat. We want to win. I want us to be in the hat for the next round.”