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Clemence | "I saw a real strength in character"

Stephen Clemence pleased with what he saw during the 2-0 win at Hereford in the FA Cup.

5 November 2023

Gills boss reflects on Hereford victory.

Gillingham Head Coach Stephen Clemence was pleased with his side's performance as they made it into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 2-0 win against Hereford at Edgar Street.

Jayden Clarke and Tom Nichols were the goal scorers as they secured a win in Clemence’s first game in charge of the Football Club.

After a first half in which the Gills created multiple chances, it was Hereford that applied the pressure in the second half as they went in search of an equaliser. Clemence was happy with the character his side showed, standing firm at what the hosts threw at them.


Pleasing aspects of the performance…

I saw a real strength of character in the second half. You come away from home, and you are 1-0 up, and the opposition puts you under pressure; you have got to stand firm. It does not matter if the team is two divisions below you or in your league; you have got to stand firm. 

Some of the stuff going forward in the first-half when we were getting around the sides of the box and getting crosses in with some different types of play with overlaps and underlaps. That pleased me as well.


The tactical approach when attacking…

I tried to get more attacking players on the pitch. I felt that I had five attacking players on the pitch that could influence the game. There was some rotation as we tried to get people running forward. You have to run forward to score goals. You have to run past defenders, as it is not all about keeping possession for the sake of it. You have got to run past people, and they took that on board.

You see Connor Mahoney for the first goal. He makes a great overlapping run, which allows Jayden Clarke to step inside and get a strike away. If he does not make that run, we do not get that shot away.


On Tom Nichols…

He would have been disappointed not to have started today. There would have been a few disappointed. Fair play to him when he came on. I thought he did really well. He is a good player and has a big part to play here.


Looking ahead to Fulham Under 21’s on Tuesday…

We will have to assess what we have got. Every game you play, you want to win. You do not go into a game thinking ‘that this does not matter’. You want to win. There will be changes. There might be some young players in the team, and you have to be patient with young players. Obviously, they are still learning and developing, but these games are vital for them.

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