Pompey v Gillingham: The Opposition View
Ever since the new manager has come in, things have improved at Gillingham.
The game at Priestfield earlier in the season was pretty terrible and Gillingham were quite defensive that day, but it’s been completely different under Steve Lovell.
They’ve been on the front foot home and away. In fact, the best results have come on the road because the team is set up to attack – and that’s caught a lot of teams out.
The games they’ve lost have tended to be when they haven’t started very well, as was the case at Bury.
So it’s all about how well the team starts. If they get going and get an early goal there’s a good chance of them winning.
Outside of Gillingham, people have probably never heard of Lovell, but he’s been around for donkey’s years here.
He was the community manager at one point and even interested in the manager’s job when he was still playing.
There’s been a couple of instances when he’s been part of a caretaker team and it’s always looked good.
This time, after Peter Taylor left, he was asked to take charge while the chairman looked for someone.
But the football was much more exciting, he started getting results and that left the chairman with no other option but to give him the job really.
It’s been a complete turnaround and the fans have been more than happy to see him get the job. He’s been given the chance and taken it.
Tom Eaves is the leading scorer, but he got taken off in the last game before half-time at Bury.
It was a really, really poor first half seeing as they’ve started games well away from home.
Eaves was the lad who came off, but there could have been a few others to get pulled as well.
Whether he’s done enough to convince the manager he deserves to keep his place we’ll wait and see. There’s a few players vying for the position, including Conor Wilkinson.
In terms of players to watch out for, defender Gabriel Zakuani has impressed.
There’s also captain Lee Martin in midfield, who often plays in quite an attacking role.
Martin’s a former Manchester United academy player, so he does have quite a decent pedigree behind him. If he plays well, the team generally play well.