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Harris | "Let's take it one game at a time"

Gills boss delighted with win over Southampton, but says his team will retain focus and take one game at a time.

9 August 2023


Harris | "Let's take it one game at a time"

Gills boss delighted with win over Southampton, but says his team will retain focus and take one game at a time.

9 August 2023

Neil Harris quickly moved his focus to Accrington following the win over Southampton in the Carabao Cup.

Manager Neil Harris was delighted with Gillingham’s 3-1 victory over Championship promotion favourites Southampton in the Carabao Cup, but has called on his players to retain their focus ahead of the league game against Accrington.

Robbie McKenzie was the scoring hero again, as his brace helped the Gills to a 3-1 victory over the Saints. Having been left out of the starting XI against Stockport, Harris has been beyond pleased with the attitude the versatile defender has shown in his performances.

With another tough game at Priestfield this Saturday, the Gillingham manager was again keen to temper expectations after an exciting start to the new season.


Thoughts on the game…

Today was an enjoyable fixture. It was almost a free hit for us. I picked a team and set it up yesterday accordingly. The lads were well-prepared and 100% organised. Everyone could see that in what we did. Just because I said we were focused on Accrington did not mean that we did not take away the preparation for this. Not at all.

We could have easily gone to a back five tonight, and we could have easily camped on the edge of our own box and played a 5-3-2 or a 5-4-1 diamond. I did not want to do that. I wanted to play on the front foot, and I said before that we want to attack teams.

In the first fifteen minutes I thought that we dominated, and we could have got another one with Shad’s header, then Ethan [Coleman] could have scored a header.


On Robbie McKenzie…

Robbie came on with a brilliant attitude and affected the game defensively and scored the goal on Saturday.

Robbie can play anywhere across the back line and in centre midfield, so his versatility is a dream for me.

Today I thought he was excellent. Not just with his defensive responsibility with him and Ethan Coleman, but the way he handled the ball as well. The goals were just a huge bonus.  He has bounced back from being left out on the opening day of the season and responded brilliantly.


Managing expectations…

Let’s not get carried away. Let’s try and keep a lid on it. It was a great win at Stockport and a fantastic win tonight against top opposition. Let’s take it one game at a time.

It is a good start, but what I do know is that what we achieved at Stockport and what we achieved tonight, we have to repeat it on Saturday in abundance.


Looking ahead to Accrington Stanley…

I know what my team is for Saturday already. I picked that before today’s game, so I know what it is going to be. My mindset has not changed, but what it does do is give me confidence in the players that I am going to play, and the lads that miss out will be disappointed.

I have to earn their trust. If I am rotating the squad and adjusting players in positions, then they have got to trust me that their opportunity is going to come. For me, it is about being ruthless. It is about being successful. That is what I am here for this year, to be successful. Tonight was a success, Saturday was a success, and now it is all about Accrington.

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