Neil Harris convinced Gillingham can beat the drop following Crewe victory

Posted Wednesday, February 02, 2022 by PA

Neil Harris convinced Gillingham can beat the drop following Crewe victory

Neil Harris insists Gillingham have enough quality to stay up this season after his first game in charge ended in a 1-0 win against Crewe.

Danny Lloyd’s first-half penalty was enough to earn the Gills a first win in 15 League One games but they sit eight points adrift of safety.

Harris was quick to temper expectations at full-time but says he has seen enough to convince him that they have the necessary fighting spirit to get out of trouble.

“The players produced tonight, which shows I’ve got quality in the changing room,” he said. “We saw a galvanised performance from them.

“I’m pleased for them, they’ve had a tough time, but it’s just one game. It’s a start.

“Danny Lloyd showed quality and composure with the penalty. Together with Mustapha Carayol, he gave us great energy, but I want to be a bit careful talking about individual players because it was a team effort.

“Actually, it was a football club performance. You could see the fans feeding off the players tonight. They were with us.

“The reception from the fans was phenomenal – I didn’t expect to get my name sung during my first game!

“We’ve got a huge task (to stay up) but all I’m focusing on is doing what I can control. There’s no overnight success.

“We’ve won a game today, but we need to build this club from scratch. I’m not coming in here saying I’m going to do this and do that, it’s about one game at a time.”

The win moves Gillingham level with Crewe on 22 points and the Railwaymen are also in deep trouble after three defeats in a row.

They rarely threatened in attack at Priestfield but manager David Artell blamed the referee for their defeat, insisting Gillingham should not have been awarded a penalty.

“It’s all about Darren Drysdale,” Artell said. “He misses a blatant penalty for us within 30 seconds of kick-off then, as for their penalty, he’s got the wrong player and the wrong mechanism of penalty.

“It has hit Luke Offord on the elbow, which is in front of his stomach, but he said he thought Luke Murphy handled it.

“We played well tonight but it’s all about one man. Whenever you’ve got inept officials you will get mistakes. It has cost us the game.

“We’ve had a bit of a go but we’ve fallen short. We had a few chances, we had shots from around the edge of the box when they sat deep, but we just didn’t create enough chances.

“On another day we would have got a goal or more because our play deserved that. I thought we were by far the better team in the second half and we weren’t the worst team in the first half.”


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