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Harris | "There is a belief and confidence again"

Gills boss delighted with the developments that are taking place at the Football Club.

27 January 2023


Harris | "There is a belief and confidence again"

Gills boss delighted with the developments that are taking place at the Football Club.

27 January 2023

Neil Harris addresses the media prior to the game against Swindon at the County Ground.

Gillingham go into this weekend's game against Swindon Town at the County Ground hunting a hat-trick of successive Sky Bet League 2 victories.

The Gills will be full of optimism after moving themselves off the foot of the table with a pair of 2-0 wins against Hartlepool and Colchester respectively. A clash with the Robins, perched in sixth place, will be another great test to see how far the new-look Gillingham team have really improved.

Ahead of the fixture, the Gills manager faced the local media.


Buzz at the club


"There is a ray of positivity and a lot of excitement. There is a belief and a confidence again at the football club and I think that comes from in the building, seeing Brad and Shannon every day. The club is developing with people like Kenny (Jackett) and Andy (Hessenthaler) coming in to support. On the terraces there is real optimism, excitement and belief again. There has been a reinvigoration on the training pitch with new players coming in and they have re-energised the group."



Getting out of relegation trouble


"We have made a good start, but it is just a start. There are going to be bumps and bruises along the way. We need to concentrate on one game at a time. Our full focus is on preparing the players for Saturday and knowing what Swindon are all about.


"We need to support the guys by using the transfer window by continuing to add to the group."



Swindon on Saturday


"Swindon will pass the ball, they have a philosophy at the club that they play total football. They are pretty on the eye and they play some good football at this level.


"We are fully aware of the challenge. I've spoken to the players about what this game means to the fans. We want to make the football club proud and win, lose or draw, I want us to be at it. We will be strong at the weekend. We are a team that nobody will want to play.


"Swindon are a good team; we have to be organised and disciplined and clinical when our chances come. We have to get our shape spot on."




Transfer activity


"The guys cannot be making any more phone calls than they are, they have to keep charging their phone batteries!


"Kenny and Andy have been great in supporting me. It was great business by the club to bring in class guys like these. 


"We are progressing things and there are going to be new players coming in. Talks are on-going. I'm pleased with what we have done so far but we are still trying to add.


"We are really trying to be methodical and careful. We need to make sure we don't go massive on numbers and end up with unhappy players in the changing room. We want to show that we can build a squad in the right manner. We are adding to the group but we need to be sensible about it."



Players moving on


"If players want to play and they want to be guaranteed a game on Saturday then they might need to find pastures new. If they don't want to leave and they want to stay then they will be treated with respect at this football club whilst I am manager, as long as they conduct themselves professionally and are positive around the group."



The supporters


"I want to address something as a couple of people have said to me that I haven't always come to applaud the fans in person. I do always clap the fans before and after the game, perhaps not in front of them but from the side. From my perspective it is not because I do not appreciate every single one of them who pays their hard-earned money, because I am a father and a football fan myself. It is because as a manager you have to earn that right and earn that respect to applaud the fans and take that praise. I hadn't felt in my role that I had earnt that right. 


"I celebrated last Saturday because there was a show of appreciation from me to them. I want to do well for them. I've been embarrassed by it and that is why I haven't always gone to the fans in person. I felt like I had let them down. There has never been a lack of appreciation from me. I want to do well for them. The way the supporters have been with me has been phenomenal and it is something I will never forget.


"It's been a rollercoaster of a year in this job. I've had a difficult spell here. I can't wait to continue the positivity and the building process.


"We are all involved in football for that winning feeling; I want more of it."

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