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Match Previews

Opposition Report: Gillingham

24 September 2020

Blackpool travel to Gillingham on Saturday in the hope of claiming their second win of the campaign.

Gillingham, who finished six points above the Seasiders last season, will be looking to build on their first three points of the 20/21 campaign, after an entertaining 3-2 victory over Wigan Athletic last time out.

An impressive performance against Swindon Town will give Neil Critchley’s men confidence ahead of the game, as CJ Hamilton’s goals either side of half-time gave Blackpool a comfortable victory. The Seasiders will be looking to extend their unbeaten run at Priestfield Stadium, with their last defeat coming in 2015.

The Hosts

After finishing nine points adrift of the League One play-off places last campaign, the Gills will be looking to go one better this season after an impressive 19/20 campaign under Steve Evans.

Gillingham ended the campaign strongly with only one defeat from their last 19 league games, including a 3-2 victory over the Seasiders at Bloomfield Road in February.

A busy summer transfer window has seen a change in personnel at the Priestfield Stadium. Evans has completely overhauled his squad, with 13 arrivals and nine departures ahead of another season in League One.

Forward Dominic Samuel returned to Priestfield Stadium on a permanent basis, following his loan spell with the Club during the 15/16 campaign. Exciting Arsenal duo Trae Coyle and Zech Medley joined the Club on a season long-loan, whilst Jacob Mellis and Kyle Dempsey added some much-needed experience in midfield.

In similar fashion to the Seasiders, Gillingham have started the season with one win and one defeat. Hull City condemned Evans’ side to defeat on their curtain raiser at Priestfield, but an entertaining five goal thriller against Wigan Athletic saw the Gills come out on top. The visitors came from behind to win 3-2 at the DW Stadium, courtesy of Graham’s double and Coyle’s first goal since arriving from Arsenal.

The Manager

57-year-old Steve Evans was appointed in May 2019, following the dismissal of Steve Lovell.

A popular figure at Priestfield after playing over 200 games for the Club, Lovell guided Gillingham to 17th  place in his first season. He was then dismissed with two games left to play at the end of the 18/19 campaign, following a six game run without a win. Mark Patterson took caretaker charge of the Gills for their last games of the season, one of which they lost 3-0 to Blackpool at Priestfield. Evans was then appointed prior to the 19/20 season, after leaving his position at Peterborough United in February 2018.

Evans led the Club to 10th place in his first season in charge, finishing six points above the Seasiders. The Gills conceded the fourth least goals in the division and will be hoping to continue their defensive resilience this season. The 57-year-old will be targeting another victory as his side welcome Neil Critchley’s men on Saturday.

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