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'We have to keep believing' - McSheffrey on Gillingham defeat

13 March 2022

Gary McSheffrey has called on his players to react in the right manner after Rovers were handed another lifeline in the battle at the foot of Sky Bet League One.

Rovers suffered a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Gillingham, who started the game a point ahead in the standings. Despite the defeat, they remain four points from safety.

While thoroughly disappointed with the performance against the Gills, McSheffrey says the reaction of his players over the coming week is the most important factor at this stage.

On how the game played out:

“It’s not great giving a throw-in away after ten seconds when it’s probably their biggest weapon. And then we don’t defend the throw-in, people get caught under it when we’ve got to make the first contact with it and you can’t let it bounce in the six yard box.

“They get their noses in front in the first minute.

“We had a lot of the ball. They let you play out and they just want to defend their box.

“Their game management is old school and they’re quite shrewd in how they see the game out.

“We played some nice stuff in the second half but we didn’t have that cutting edge.

“In the final bit, we huffed and puffed a bit, had some good efforts and their keeper made some decent saves.

“But we lacked the desire to keep putting the ball in behind them and get balls into the box.

“There was too much patience out on the pitch rather than keep putting them under pressure.”

On how to pick the players up for the next game:

"You have to take the positives out of it. Obviously the result is not positive but it's the most we've played in a game for a few weeks.

"You have to be upbeat on the training pitch.

"Gillingham have gained an advantage with this result but they're the only team that have this weekend. Everyone else lost so it's still the exact same number of points required to get out of it. 

"We have to just keep fighting and keep believing while the opportunity is there and while it is mathematically possible.

“We need more desire and hunger to hurt opposition teams and make defenders work more.

“They didn’t play badly, especially in the second half.

“We need to dust ourselves down, recover well and get our heads up.

“There’s eight games left and there’s no point moping.

“We need players to react in the right way with positive thinking.”

On his message to the fans:

“We need them to keep backing us and keep believing in us like they have been doing.

“They’ve been superb.

“We’ll keep turning up to every game and trying to win games of football.”


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