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Clemence | "It was a good workout for the boys"

Gills Head Coach reflects on the midweek defeat to Fulham U21.

8 November 2023

Gillingham's Head Coach reflects on the Bristol Street Motors Trophy to Fulham U21's at Priestfield.

Stephen Clemence said there were lessons in defeat after Gills' narrow loss to Fulham U21s in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.
After ringing the changes the Gills boss got to know his players a little more and despite exiting the competition it proved a useful exercise.
“I think we can play better than what we did,” said Clemence after the 1-0 defeat. “But we got through unscathed, built up some minutes and it was a good chance to see some of the players.
“It was difficult though, we made 10 changes, we didn’t know the team until today [Tuesday] as we had a few issues inside the squad. I wanted to see everyone play as well. We’ve played some young players in the team who I haven’t even trained with yet and it was difficult.
“Hats off to Fulham, they have a good young side, they are flying high in the Premier League 2 with good technical players.
“I’m disappointed with the result but the positive is that we have got some minutes into some of the boys that needed it and that will stand them in good stead going into the league fixture at the weekend.
“I was apprehensive going into this game because we hadn’t done the work with the players. I didn’t get the opportunity to work on the training ground with the team because of the issues inside the squad, and who was going to play, who was fit.
"We decided to go with what we went with, we got vital minutes into the boys and that is the most important thing, that’s the best thing that has come out of the game.
“It was good to see Lewis (Walker), it is the first time I have seen him play. I have seen Tim (Dieng) in the past and George (Lapslie) as well, he has had a few issues. Max (Ehmer) came into central defence and we got some good minutes for him as well, that was the main positive of the night, that those players have come through unscathed.
“I know there are some possession-based teams in League 2 now as well, some very good ones, but it is not the normal style that they are always going to be up against, it was a good workout for the boys.
“They have had to runaround and try and get the ball back and Fulham are patient with it, but sometimes when you get beat you learn more and I definitely learned a bit.”

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