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Harris | "We had the desire and drive to get back into it"

Gills boss delighted with the fighting spirit of his squad as Oli Hawkins scores late at Bradford to help secure a deserved point.

23 April 2023

The Gillingham manager reflects on Saturday's 2-2 draw at the University of Bradford Stadium.

Neil Harris hailed Gillingham's "drive and desire" after his team heroically wrestled back a share of the spoils from promotion-chasing Bradford on Saturday.
The back-and-forth contest started with the Gills at their very best, prodding and probing the Bradford backline and putting the home side on their heels early on.
A smart Timothee Dieng finish gave the Gills an 12th-minute lead in a one-way-traffic first-half but Andy Cook's brace after the restart turned the game on its head.

They talked of a ME7 revolution in January when Brad and Shannon Galinson walked through the doors of MEMS Priestfield Stadium and it's fair to say that since the New Year Gillingham FC have been a very different beast, and so it proved again in the 97th minute.

Oli Hawkins nipped in at the back post to poke home a heart-stopping equaliser to nicely cap a monumental week for the club and send the away fans wild.

"That was two excellent sides today," said Harris after the game. "There could have been even more goals because there was so much quality on the pitch.
"We wanted to go after the football today and put them under pressure for the first 20 minutes; we wanted to quiet their crowd.
"First-half we were magnificent and we should have been three or four up. We should have been well clear and the game should have been dead and buried. We knew Bradford would react at half-time, a team who are trying to get promoted are always going to respond. We could have stood up a bit stronger and that is something we need to improve next season.
"After falling behind we had the desire and drive to get back in it. On the balance of play and chances created we deserved at least a point, if not more.
"We forced turnovers, we forced errors, we played some really good football, we created really good chances and we could have scored more goals.
"I am delighted for Oli, we needed a game-changer and Oli Hawkins stepped up. I'm delighted with the point and have learnt a lot about my players today. We are not making up the numbers in any game."

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