NOT BRAD, BUT JUSTIN LOVES ALL!
GILLINGHAM manager Justin Edinburgh opted to praise his squad as opposed to individuals after Bradley Dack’s double moved the Kent side back to the top of League One.
Dack scored either side of half time – his third and fourth league goals of the season – to give the Gills a deserved victory over a defensively-fragile Wigan side.
And having amassed ten points from a possible 12 thus far this season, Edinburgh attributed his side’s lofty position to his young squad.
“It was a complete team performance,” he said. “As a collective we were very good. I’m sure Bradley Dack will get the headlines as he got the two goals, but overall there wasn’t a bad individual performance, as has been the case this season.
“There are no passengers in this group, there’s a great spirit in this young group, and they’ve got a real desire to better themselves.
“I thought we were always stretching them, and we had some really good chances.”
Predicted by many to finish in a similar position to last season’s 12th place, Edinburgh believes his side’s start could continue.
He added: “It’s only a start. We’ve got to maintain that, but the points return so far is fantastic.
“The group are earning the right to win games and if they continue to do that, who knows where that takes us?”
Dack neatly slotted home past Richard O’Donnell for the opener on 37 minutes following good play by on-loan Chelsea midfielder Jordan Houghton and Rory Donnelly.
The hosts came close to doubling their lead when Luke Norris’s 20-yard strike rebounded off the post, while only a last-ditch tackle from Craig Morgan prevented the former Brentford striker from slotting past O’Donnell for a second shortly after half time.
But after former Gills loanee Donervon Daniels fouled Dack in the box eight minutes from time, the highly-rated midfielder secured the victory with a confident penalty kick.
The Latics haven’t won away in the league since March, and struggled to create, with firsthalf chances coming through Chris McCann and Will Grigg.
Stuart Nelson’s brilliant reflex save prevented Grigg from converting at the back post on 55 minutes following substitute Sean Murray’s cross, in what proved to be the visitors’ best chance after the break.
“Had we have scored then, we would have had the momentum,” said Latics manager Gary Caldwell.
“I’m disappointed, we came here on the back of a good win and performance on Wednesday, and we wanted to build on that.
“I thought we were fresh and ready for the challenge.
“Up to the opening goal, we didn’t pass the ball well enough. When they scored, we started to pass it like we can.
“That’s a disappointment as we didn’t do it from minute one and impose our style of play on them.
“We have to put a string of results together, and that’s the challenge from this group.
“It’s no good doing it once every so often, we have to do it for a number of weeks.”
SPOT ON: Bradley Dack keeps his cool to score his and Gillingham’s second from 12 yards
CHEER: Rory Donnelly and Bradley Dack
STAR MAN BRADL
EY DACK Gillingh