Burton Albion v Gillingham preview
Burton Albion v Gillingham preview

It’s pride to play for and either potentially new contracts, places in the squad or a chance to impress other clubs as Gillingham head to Burton Albion on Saturday.

With nothing now to play for and the play-off chance now gone for Steve Evans’ side, it’s all about seeing if they can win their final two League One games of the campaign.

Some players are clearly playing for their places and will need to put in a decent shift over the remaining 180 minutes of the season if they are to be considered for the next campaign, but Evans is set to shuffle the pack if he too remains at Priestfield over the summer.

A number of squad players have failed to live up to expectations and Evans will ring the changes if he stays on for his third season in charge.

However, Evans could lose two of his better players with Jordan Graham linked with a free transfer to Birmingham City as their boss Lee Bowyer is known to be a great admirer of the striker / wide man. He tried to sign Graham when at Charlton Athletic and could come back in for him at the end of the campaign.

Another possible massive loss would be skipper Kyle Dempsey who’s been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest. The heartbeat of the Gillingham team, Dempsey moving away from Priestfield will be a huge blow and has become a fan’s favourite in his short time at the club.

This weekend, Evans must decide whether he gives some of his fringe players a run out at Burton or go for a morale boosting win.

Striker John Akinde will come back into contention after missing last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Northampton Town due to sickness.

Defender Robbie Cundy will be given every opportunity to overcome injury and take his place in the side, whilst youngster Gerald Sithole may have to sit the game out despite having featured for the youth team on Tuesday.

Assistant Manager Paul Raynor confirmed the pair were doubts, but insisted Gillingham go to Burton Albion looking to finish the season on a high, but knows it will be a tough test against a side revitalised under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink:

“Young Gerald has a bit of a knock; he played some minutes with the youth team on Tuesday. The weekend might come too soon, fingers crossed.”

“We have one or two other niggles; Robbie Cundy we will see in training tomorrow (Friday) and assess how he is.”

“Burton are on a very good run so it won’t be easy. We knew Jimmy would get them going and we felt there would be a response and it’s been absolutely unbelievable. He has done a fantastic job and credit to him.”

With both sides now having nothing to play for this season, manager Steve Evans believes his side still need to put in a good performance this weekend:

“We will train properly and prepare for Burton Albion. Just because you are not in the play-off group it doesn’t mean you don’t fight to win.”

One thing will be very different this weekend with both Gillingham Football Club and Kent Sports News respecting the social media blackout between 3pm on Friday and 23:59 on Monday.

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.



 
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