Neil Harris blames ‘individual error’ for Gillingham’s defeat to Charlton

Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2022 by PA

Neil Harris blames ‘individual error’ for Gillingham’s defeat to Charlton

Gillingham manager Neil Harris blamed an “individual error” for his side’s 1-0 defeat at Charlton.

The Gills knew a point would be enough to lift them out of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

But Alex Gilbey scored the winning goal in the 40th minute after Gillingham goalkeeper Pontus Dahlberg failed to deal confidently with Corey Blackett-Taylor’s shot.

Although Jayden Stockley’s follow-up attempt was blocked by the Dane, Gilbey then fired home to earn Charlton their first victory in eight matches.

Harris said: “Ultimately it wasn’t a game we deserved to lose – we deserved at least a point out of it. Charlton had a lot of the ball first half but we were fine with that, we are comfortable without the football as a team at the moment.

“For 40 minutes we were fine – not any real major issues. It was even-steven in the box and then we give a really poor goal away.

“It’s an avoidable goal and we can’t afford, in the position we’re in, to give away individual errors.

“I said at half-time that maybe we need to be a bit more aggressive without the ball and a little more risk-taking, get higher up the pitch. Second half we really stepped on to Charlton and had the better of it.

“The players have given me everything tonight – it’s all I can ask from the smallest group of players I’ve ever had in my life.

“My only disappointment was a lack of quality in the final third. We got into some really good areas and just lacked that little bit of creativity. Ultimately we didn’t create enough clear-cut opportunities.”

Charlton had failed to score in their last three home matches going into the game and had taken just one point from a possible 21.

But Gilbey’s third goal of the season – and first in the league since December – settled any jitters about being dragged deeper into danger.

Charlton manager Johnnie Jackson, who was a goalscoring midfielder for the south London club, said: “You’ve got to be in those positions to pick those bits up.

“I played that position and me and Gilbs have a lot of conversations about that, getting in those positions. The type of player he is and the ability he has got – the engine to get up and down the pitch – he should score more goals. I know he would agree with me.

“He’s come out of the side and you’re looking for a reaction when you do put them back in. He played like he had a point to prove tonight – go and prove me wrong.

“To get that win when you’ve been on a bad run is important, regardless of where you are in the league. It becomes doubly important when you’re playing someone below you and the gap is not that big.

“It will just help the lads and be a reminder that we’re a good side and capable of good things. We haven’t been performing to that level, but when it comes together we can be a threat for anyone.”


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