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Wellens Wary Of Gillingham Ahead Of Saturday’s Game

13 April 2018

Manager Richie Wellens is wary of opponents Gillingham who visit Boundary Park this weekend.

The Gills are in indifferent form after losing 4-0 at Southend United, whilst earning a point against high-flying Blackburn Rovers.

The manager said: “At the minute, they’re an up and down team. They were 4-0 down at half-time against Southend and then they go and get a point against Blackburn on Tuesday, who have won a lot of games on the bounce. 

“Tom Eaves is a player this club knows well. He’s a threat and a good target man. Lee Martin’s out with suspension. He’s obviously one of their main players. 

“He’s their captain and a good footballer but its like anything in this league, if we do the basics right and take our chances then we’ll be okay.”

Latics head into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Walsall on Wednesday night. Asked whether the Wednesday fixture has affected preparations, Wellens replied: “Yes, of course it does.

“The players were in yesterday for a recovery session in the pool and the gym. There’s not much we can do with them today. 

“Chapel Road is waterlogged anyway so we can’t train there. There is very little we can do in terms of our shape because there isn’t anywhere to do it. 

“We can go on astroturf but I don’t like training on astroturf the day before a game. 

“We’ll just get a little bit of work into their legs and get a bit of the stiffness from Wednesday out of them and then we’ll try and keep them fresh for Saturday. At this stage of the season, the training isn’t important. 

“It’s about them fresh and ready to go for a full 90 minutes on Saturday.”

Latics find themselves three points above Rochdale who sit in the final relegation place but Wellens knows how important it is to have experienced players in the dressing room.

“It’s huge because you know what’s required and you can call upon things in the past that have gone well and got you a result,” he said.

“It’s a huge bonus to have players like that and then obviously there’s the young lads that have come in. George Edmundson at the moment is playing really well and I think Gerrard compliments him with his experience. 

“You can never have too much experience. You look at the top teams and it’s no coincidence that Wigan and Blackburn have all the experience in the world. 

“Every player from their squads have won promotion from this league and played in the Championship. It’s so vital. 

“I’ve seen Mourinho come out and say he inherited a group of players that weren’t used to winning leagues whereas City inherit and buy players that are used to winning things. You can never put too much value on experience.”


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