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Clemence | "It was probably a fair result"

Gills boss reflects on Swindon draw.

14 February 2024


Clemence | "It was probably a fair result"

Gills boss reflects on Swindon draw.

14 February 2024

Post-match reaction from the Head Coach.

Gillingham Head Coach Stephen Clemence was disappointed to see his side concede late on against Swindon in midweek, but conceded 2-2 was probably a fair result.

Harry McKirdy scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time as Gills were deprived of all three points. 

Sean McGurk gave the visitors a first-half lead before goals from Oli Hawkins and Connor Mahoney put Gillingham in front. It seemed that the Gills would hang on for all three points until McKirdy's fine strike found the bottom corner in the fourth minute of added time. 

Despite the frustration of conceding so late, Clemence was also keen to take the positives out of a back-and-forth fixture.


Assessment of the game...

I thought that in the first half, they were the better team. We couldn't get to grips with them. I felt that we could have done better with the ball. We had to change one or two things at half-time, which helped us in the second half.

I have to say fair play to Swindon; they played really well. We made the adjustments, and I felt we were a lot better, but unfortunately, we haven't held on at the end. I think that over the course of the game, it was probably a fair result.


On Jorge Hurtado and the penalty...

I am not sure he knows what he is going to do, so I don't know how the opposition work it out! He just seems to come out of the other side of two or three challenges. I have seen it in training. 

He has got to get better as well. He has got to improve. He's a young player. There are times when he gives it away when he shouldn't, and he has got to be careful where he does that. It is okay in the attacking third or attacking half of the pitch, go and express yourself, but you don't want to be trying some of the things he does try in our own half because it is a shorter distance to our goal. 

He has always got a smile on his face, and I was really pleased that he made a big contribution tonight and helped us get a point. 


Looking at the positives...

The positives are that we haven't lost. We have got another point and gone closer to the play-offs. We have scored another two goals, with two different scorers. We could have had more, and we get done in the 94th minute. 

The game could have gone either way in the end, but there are lots of things that we are doing now that I feel we weren't doing when Robbie [Stockdale] and I first arrived at the club. We have had some new players that have come in and helped us in January, which is great, but I do feel that there is a belief in the group now that they can score, take teams on and score more than one. I do feel that. 


The supporters...

I need to give a special mention to the supporters tonight. I really enjoyed the start of the game. I have worked at some big clubs in the past, and I thought that it was absolutely fantastic. The Last Waltz, the way the flags were up and the way they got involved right up to kick-off, and I could hear them all throughout the first half. I thought they were great; although the lads were struggling, they kept the boys going. The boys did have to dig in deep during that first half, and I was really encouraged by the way they were tonight. 

I think that was the loudest I have heard them, and I really liked it. It was fantastic.

[Regarding the Last Waltz being sung before kick-off]- I think that something has been created today that will probably be at this Football Club for a long long time, and it should be because it sounded very special in the technical area. I am sure it sounded very special on the pitch for the players.

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