Neil Harris feels Gillingham draw with Sheffield Wednesday has given squad boost



Posted Sunday, March 20, 2022 by PA

Neil Harris feels Gillingham draw with Sheffield Wednesday has given squad boost

Gillingham boss Neil Harris believes his team can take huge belief from their goalless draw with League One promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday.

The Gills boosted their survival hopes with a point at Priestfield in a game they could have won had it not been for some smart saves from Wednesday keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Harris and his team still have plenty of work to do to avoid the drop to the fourth tier, now sitting a point clear outside of the relegation zone, albeit having played one game more than AFC Wimbledon just below them.

But the Gillingham boss, who only joined six weeks ago, believes the draw with the Owls has given his players a huge psychological boost.

He said: “It’s a performance which gives us a lot of pride. But also a lot of confidence and belief as well.

“It’s a massive positive for the players that we stood strong and it means a lot to move out of the relegation zone.

“The players are buzzing but we’ve achieved nothing yet. All we’ve done is take a step in the right direction.”

Sheffield Wednesday came into the game having lost just one of their last six and were expected to further boost their play-off ambitions.

But Gillingham had big chances through Charlie Kelman and Vadaine Oliver to take the win.

Harris felt his side would have fully deserved maximum points.

He added: “It was a strong performance, I thought we were the better team and deserved to win the game.

“We went toe-to-toe with arguably the best squad in the league.

“We knew there would be moments where they had the ball but we limited them to so few chances.”

Wednesday boss Darren Moore was left disappointed with his side’s pedestrian display but credited the hosts’ fighting spirit.

He said: “I just thought we didn’t show enough impetus first half.

“We had a lot of the ball but it was just too slow and too mundane.

“We didn’t show enough creativity and guile when we got into their box.

“They sat deep all afternoon, they had five across the back and four just in front of them – it made it quite difficult.

“We’ve scored 30 goals in 13 games, we’ve scored a lot of goals – you have to remember that.

“They’re fighting for their lives so you can’t condemn them for it. You have to give them credit.”

Despite a battling performance from the relegation-threatened Gills, Moore was always confident his team would keep a clean sheet.

He added: “I thought if we got that goal it would have forced them out and that would have created those spaces.

“But whilst they had the clean sheet, they were never going to go anywhere.”

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