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Harris | "We have to keep building the momentum"

The Gills boss is hoping Saturday's performance against Hartlepool is replicated at Colchester.

20 January 2023

Gills boss wants another strong performance against Colchester on Saturday.

Neil Harris has told his Gillingham players that they ‘can’t afford to step back one inch’ ahead of their Sky Bet League Two clash with Colchester United.

Gillingham picked up maximum points last weekend in arguably their best performance of the season, defeating Hartlepool 2-0 in front of a rocking MEMS Priestfield crowd. Gillingham’s manager is now calling for more of the same at the JobServe Community Stadium at 3:00 on Saturday.

“My message to the players has been really simple,” revealed Harris. “We’ve set the standard, we have to be as good as last weekend, if not better, for the rest of the season.

“I am buzzing, the group is buzzing, the football club is buzzing but it’s one step at a time. You have to make sure everything we did Saturday we have to replicate this weekend.

“Beating Hartlepool felt like a fresh start. We are now desperate to get the first away win of the season and desperate to take some points off the team just above us. I want a positive performance and a positive reaction from the players. We have to keep building the momentum.

“Everything I hoped for this season was in the Hartlepool performance, but it's just a start. We have to carry on moving forward as a club, off and on the pitch.”

There has certainly been a lot of activity behind the scenes following the Hartlepool victory. Three more signings have been unveiled in the form of George Lapslie (from Mansfield), Jayden Clarke (Dulwich Hamlet) and Ethan Coleman (Leyton Orient) who are all ready to pull on the blue jersey to help steer the Gills away from the danger of relegation.

That takes the new recruit count to seven, and with further additions expected before the closing of the January transfer window, things are looking up for the second half of the season.

“I ask the fans to come and support us and come and see the new Gillingham,” enthused Harris.

“Previously we hadn't been good enough. We hadn't produced the level we want to play at. It was a difficult period but that's behind me. I am now looking forward.

“It is not going to be a completely smooth ride between now and the end of the season but I want to go with the same positivity and excitement as last weekend and keep the players in that mental place going into another huge game.

“I expect a competitive game. Our opponents are a big side, aggressive, play forward, run forward, do the basics really well, they’ve got some quality and experience.

“We have to start well on Saturday and force the issue. I want a strong and positive performance.”

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