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Clemence | "We have to keep believing"

Gills boss says the squad must keep believing after moving a point closer to the play-off places at the weekend.

18 March 2024


Clemence | "We have to keep believing"

Gills boss says the squad must keep believing after moving a point closer to the play-off places at the weekend.

18 March 2024

Stephen Clemence says his team need to keep believing in themselves as they approach the final seven games of the league season.

Gills Head Coach Stephen Clemence was disappointed that his side could not take all three points in the 1-1 draw against Grimsby Town but says they remain very much in the play-off mix.

The visitors took a 13th-minute lead before George Lapslie levelled for Gillingham three minutes later. Clemence was pleased with what his side created throughout the fixture but lamented another game in which chances went begging.

Gills were hit by an injury bug following the defeat to AFC Wimbledon, but despite those issues, that did not force the manager's hand when it came to changing the formation.


Assessment of the game...

I am very disappointed that we haven't won the game. I expected us to win the game like I expect us to win every game. That's what we set out to do, but we haven't taken our chances. That is not just having a go at the strikers; they are falling to lots of different players, and we haven't put them away. If you do that, then you are going to end up on the end of bad results, or you're going to draw football matches.

I cannot fault the players' efforts and what they created. They were absolutely fantastic today, all of them, to a man. 


Availability of the squad ahead of the game...

I have had nine players that have hardly trained this week. Since I spoke to you on Thursday, there have been more people that have gone down. Three players have played today that have hardly eaten anything. The ones that did play all managed to train on Friday but didn't do very much. To get through that, fair play to them. 

I was still getting text messages from the physio this morning about the players. I had one more pull-out this morning. It has been a very bad sickness bug. I am being transparent. I have never seen anything like it go on in all of my time in football with all of the illnesses that we've had this week. 

I will tell you now, Glenn Morris wasn't there [Friday training], he has come in today. The only two who played today who had the sickness and played from the start are Tim Dieng and George Lapslie. 


The change of formation...

I was always going to go to a back four today. I spoke to a couple of the players at the start of the week and told them to get themselves ready. I felt that they were so good in the second half against Tranmere that it would be the way I was going to go. 

The back five or three has served us pretty well. We have had a decent run of form since Christmas with it. I understand that sometimes you have got to change things. I thought that with the change in formation today, we looked spot on with it. 

I think Grimsby struggled to contain us in the first half. They started in a 5-3-2 themselves, then ended up going to a 4-5-1 one and really blocked it up. They were man-marking Hutton at the end.


Being clinical... 

We've harped on about it all season, and we said that if we don't start taking more [chances] we could be a nearly team. We might not achieve what we want to do. We are still in the mix, and we have to keep going. The boys have to keep believing, and I will keep believing in them. 

There were a number of good moments in the game today where we should have put the game to bed. There are some days where it doesn't go for you, and unfortunately, we have probably had too many of those days this season. We do create more now, but we don't score enough. 

I know the problems at this Football Club, and they will get sorted.

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