Gills v Blackpool: Preview & Predictions

And so month two of the season started in the same way as the first for Gillingham Football Club and it’s supporters, with a home clean sheet and three points.

The 1-0 defeat of Doncaster Rovers last weekend was a completely contrasting victory to the opening day dismantling of Sheffield United, but the three points were enough to send the Gills back to the summit of League One.

Replacing the free flowing football was hard work and graft, and replacing the well worked goals scored was a winner as scrappy as it was contentious.

Pointing to a bright future? But Edinburgh is keeping everyone’s feet on the ground.

But that didn’t matter one jot to anyone with a connection to the Kent club, because the grinding out of a win showed that this football team can now win football matches in different ways.

Last season the Gills would perhaps have contrived to lose a game that lacked in quality, but this term a new found resilience means they are able to grind out results even when not at their fluent best.

And boy did they have to grind last Saturday, as they were robbed of three of their regular back four just 24 hours prior to kick off.

Justin Edinburgh praised his skipper Doug Loft for stepping into the breach at centre back at the eleventh hour, and also labelled the win as his sides best of the campaign so far.

The skipper was praised for offering to play in an unfamiliar role.

But make no bones about it, he will be happy to hopefully have a couple more of his regular backline available for the visit of the Tangerines.

Gills Team News

Last weekend saw Brennan Dickenson, John Egan and Deji Oshilaja all miss out through injury, but the first two of the trio have both trained this week and are back in contention.

With Deji Oshilaja injured, Max Ehmer could be reunited with John Egan.

Centre midfielder Aaron Morris should also be back in contention having not been seen since the opening day, and with Cody McDonald and Doug Loft now nearly back up to full speed, Edinburgh will have a virtually full strength – Oshilaja being the only absentee – squad to pick from.

The visitors will be boosted by the fact that they picked up their first victory of the season last time out, which was also their first win in 26 games and their first on the road since April 2014.

However, they are still a side that is struggling to come to terms with problems both on and off the pitch.

In the boardroom the issues with their Chairman Karl Oyston are well documented, and you do have to feel sorry for their fans, but the constant pitch invasions are probably not going to help anyone, so hopefully attention is now fully on matters on the pitch.

Sadly, on the pitch they are a team that has been on the slide for a fair while, and although you cannot fault the efforts of Neil McDonald and his staff, you do wonder how far he can take what is effectively a side cobbled together from those without a club.

Yes these players may have a point to prove, but how much quality is actually in the squad remains to be seen.

If Justin Edinburgh can ensure that his players realise they will still have to go out and earn a result – which he has spoken about all week long – rather than just turning up and expecting the three points, then another victory is there for the taking.

Gillingham 2 Blackpool 0


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