Lovell wants more from Gills players
Lovell wants more from Gills players

Steve Lovell was still clearly upset at Gillingham’s defeat to AFC Wimbledon last weekend when he spoke to the media this week.

When asked about his reaction to the defeat in the dressing room, the Gills boss said, “You’ve got to be honest with yourself – if I hadn’t gone in there and said what I felt about certain details I wouldn’t be doing my job, but I’m only trying to do it to improve the players – and they’ve got to realise that!”

“And I think they do – they’re a good group of players and yes I singled a few people out and they weren’t very happy about it, but I don’t care and I’ll do it again.”

“I’m only trying to get a point across to them. They either accept it and come bouncing back or they don’t and they don’t feature in my team again.”

“So I’m the one who will lay the law down and that’s the way it is, and I’ve got to do that to be fair to all the other players who are performing on a weekly basis.”

“I think it hinders the group if players aren’t performing to the top of their game, so if you’ve got three or four who aren’t performing,” Lovell continued shrugging his shoulders, “you can’t just pick one or two players and say it’s the fault of the team.”

“If they’re not performing, they’re letting themselves down and if they’re letting themselves down, they’re letting the team down. It might only be one person, but they all know who let us down last week and what they need to perform.”

“I don’t think my reaction was a shock to them as players know when they’ve not performed. So it wasn’t a shock to them as they’d performed badly, but it might have been a bit of a shock to them the way I reacted, but when they don’t come back at you with any comment, then you know that you’re right.”

“Players know when they haven’t played very well – they don’t mean it, they really don’t!  If it’s for a lack of effort, then I’ll have a go and that’s what I felt last Saturday. It’s down to them to work in training and then put into practice on the pitch and hopefully we’ll see it at Rochdale.”

“You must remember that last Saturday we had six players missing and if you take that out of the side that we put together in pre-season, then it really does show you what we are up against. That’s six players who played at Accrington who didn’t play Saturday…”

Lovell was then naturally asked about those missing. He replied, “Josh (Parker) is back from international duty, but Gabs (Zakuani) isn’t quite right, but I hope he’ll be back in training on Monday.”

“Apart from Billy (Bingham) and Regan (Charles-Cook) everyone else should be in contention to play at Rochdale, with the hope that we’ll have a full-strength side for the visit of Peterborough next weekend.”

“Last Saturday was a bit of a shock to me to be honest as that wasn’t our team out there – we won’t see that team again!”