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MANAGERS'S VERDICT: GILLINGHAM

9 January 2021

JIMMY Floyd Hasselbaink praised the application and hard work of his team after they battled to secure a 1-0 win at Gillingham.

It was a confidence-boosting three points and a clean sheet for Hasselbaink's team in his first game back in charge after a first half strike from debutant Hayden Carter proved enough to seal the win.

The manager said: "I'm delighted for the boys that they are going home with three points and with a smile on their faces and that they can enjoy a nice family day tomorrow.

"But there is still a lot to do and on Monday, it's back to hard work. We need more clean sheets in the future but this gives us a platform to work from. Clean sheets give you a chance and we have to have that mentality to get them.

"We were very good in the first half and could easily have been 2-0 going into the break. In the second half we got a little bit tired in the last 25 minutes and Gillingham got better and better at putting crosses in, but we defended really well and our keeper was immense."

Hasselbaink restored Ben Garratt to the starting line-up and the keeper rewarded him with a match-winning save from John Akinde in stoppage time.

Hasselbaink said: "It was a decision for me to make. We have conceded a lot of goals and I'm not saying that is Kieran O'Hara's fault as it's also the centre halves and the midfielders, but I wanted to see Ben and change some of the dynamics.

"It was a good chance for Akinde but I'm delighted he missed it and that my goalkeeper saved it. I can't be happier for the players and it's a good step forward."

Hayden Carter also made an impression at both ends of the pitch, scoring on his debut and clearing off the line.

Hasselbaink said: "He was very good and did what he needed to do, what was asked of him. It was not easy for him playing against two big strikers, but he and John-Joe O'Toole did well as a pair.

"The players have given me everything, the application has been great, they took things in board and now they have been rewarded."

 

 

 

 


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