Lovell wants more of the same
Lovell wants more of the same

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell was understandably delighted as Brandon Hanlan’s late winner gave the Gills all three points against Oxford United and moved them up to the dizzy heights of 13th in the SKYBet League One table.

Speaking after the game, Lovell said, “We definitely deserved it, they didn’t have a shot on target. The conditions weren’t good and that dictated the way the game was going to be. We knew it would be a battle, it was never going to be a pretty game.”

“I said to the boys that sometimes you learn things in your career and that what was what happened today. It was a performance where everyone rolled up their sleeves, did their jobs and so we got the points today!

It could have been even better for the Gills but top scorer Tom Eaves missed his third spot kick of the season during the second half and that left the boss admitting, “When Tom missed the penalty you’re looking at it being one of them days again but to get a goal in the last minute makes up for it – looking at what happened last week (when Fleetwood Town scored a late late equaliser against Lovell’s side) I think it’s evened it out where I didn’t think we deserve to drop points last week at all.”

“Over the balance of play I think we deserved it. The last five ten minutes they were going to have a go – they had too but they didn’t. It gives the boys a lift when you look at the table.

“It’s a third clean sheet in five games and we aren’t giving teams goals anymore, we are defending as a team, we are working together, and we are denying teams from having shots on target. “

Lovell praised skipper Max Ehmer on his 200th appearance for the club, but also heaped praise on Ehmer’s central defensive partner – Connor Ogilvie – who was named man of the match.

“Max and Connor are a right good partnership, Connor was outstanding today as were the entire back four as they deservedly kept a clean sheet! Max was captain when Ady (Pennock) was here, and he wasn’t comfortable with it at the time, but now he loves it, he is two years on, and he has got that experience on his side. He leads by example. I thought all the back four did their job well today.

Smiling Lovell added, “With Barry’s (Fuller) booking, I’m glad he didn’t catch the guy otherwise, he would have finished in the top tier of the stand!”

A goal-scorer himself of course, Lovell then paid tribute to Saturday’s match-winner. Brandon will be a crowd favourite – the way that he works, the way that he gives everything and the number of blocks he made today too. I sat down with him Friday afternoon when we finished training and I said that the only thing missing from his game was goals.”

“Listy has come on again today and he is unfortunate to be out of the team – he’s looked lively; he is a great prospect too. And when you think that both Callum and Regan came on and were on when we scored. I think it just goes to show what a strength we have in our squad now.

Now it makes Tuesday’s game against Bristol Rovers all the better to win, we want to finish as high as we can. Winning Saturday makes Tuesday’s game even better to go and win again!”

“We’ll look at it over the weekend and again on Monday, and noone wants to miss playing! We’ll see how we go now as we’ve still got another ten games to go and we’ve got to try and balance things out.”

“But bottom line is that we’ve got to go and get another three points against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday. I’ve got a squad down there who should be and are good enough to go and get a result on Tuesday!”