15 January 2022

No good doing it for 45 minutes – Steve Lovell angry as Gillingham let lead slip

15 January 2022

Gillingham caretaker manager Steve Lovell rued his side’s poor second-half display after a half-time lead evaporated in a 3-1 defeat to Burton.

The Gills got off to a perfect start with Robbie McKenzie scoring just three minutes in to put them 1-0 up, their first home league goal in almost three months.

However, Burton equalised five minutes into the second half through Tom Hamer and late goals from John Brayford and Jonny Smith saw the visitors seal a well-deserved victory.

Lovell, who has managed the side before and only returned this week after Steve Evans’ departure, said that only the players in the dressing room can turn things around with the side 23rd in League One.

He said: “The first half was excellent. We prepared our plan all week and the boys went about it in a very professional way and did everything that was asked of them.

“But it’s no good doing it for 45 minutes. The goals we conceded were terrible; players have responsibilities to deal with that. If people aren’t prepared to mark their men and prevent crosses coming in, then we’re going to lose games. That’s been the story of the season so far.

“I just told the players that while I don’t know how long I’m going to be here, if they don’t take on their roles and responsibilities then there’s no point in them playing. There’s no point playing for 45 minutes and then conceding the goals that we did.”

Meanwhile, Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink wants his side to make things easier for themselves in the future after having to come from behind once again.

Hasselbaink said: “We knew Gillingham were going to do things differently because they had a new manager. They scored a good goal – but we could have prevented that.

“In the first half they had the better play and we lost too many easy balls. Because of our own play we couldn’t get a foothold in the game – we needed to calm down a little bit.

“I don’t know if it was because they dropped off or we got stronger, but the second half was better. We scored three really good goals and that’s very encouraging. It’s good to see that we can come from 1-0 down and win, although I don’t want to keep on going behind in games!

“We need to look at why we go behind in games and how we can change it. I think it’s our mentality – if we can sort that out it will increase our possibilities. We did well in the second half but I’d rather we be leading 1-0, having teams come onto us and then picking them off when they get desperate.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox