Gab call puts more pres­sure on Gills...

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By An­drew Law­ton

GABRIEL Zakuani’s in­ter­na­tional call-up has left Gilling­ham care­taker-boss Peter Tay­lor with some se­ri­ous se­lec­tion headaches ahead of to­day’s game against Portsmouth.

The 31-year-old cen­tre-back was with DR Congo for their World Cup qual­i­fier against Libya yes­ter­day and his ab­sence leaves Gilling­ham’s de­fen­sive ranks stretched.

Luke O’Neill, 26, re­mains out with a ham­string is­sue, Alex Lacey, 24, is side­lined with an an­kle in­jury while 23year-old Ir­ish left-back Bradley Garm­ston is not yet back to full fit­ness.

And while the Gills man­aged a nar­row 1-0 win over Colch­ester in the Check­a­trade Tro­phy in mid­week, Tay­lor ad­mits his long in­jury list was on his mind.

“I was ner­vous, if we got an­other in­jury to an­other de­fender, we would have been re­ally strug­gling. We just about have enough,” said Tay­lor.

“We could do with every­one avail­able. We are with­out four or five and that is frus­trat­ing for us be­cause we need the best play­ers avail­able to com­pete against good League One teams.

“Garm­ston is do­ing well but I think Sun­day is a bit too early. We are be­ing care­ful with Bradley – he is a great ath­lete and we could do with others like that.”

Gilling­ham are still be­lieved to be keen on Steve Evans re­plac­ing Ady Pen­nock, who left the club by mu­tual con­sent at the end of last month.

An ini­tial ap­proach for boss Evans was turned down by his cur­rent club Mans­field but ru­mours re­main that the Gills will make a sec­ond ap­proach.

Mean­while, Portsmouth boss Kenny Jack­ett is tak­ing noth­ing for granted against his man­ager­less op­po­nents and is ex­cited to see his squad – 15th head­ing into the week­end – per­form in front of the Sky Sports cam­eras. “It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for us with the in­ter­na­tional break mean­ing that Premier League and Cham­pi­onship sides aren’t play­ing,” he said.

“The fo­cus falls on Pompey this week­end and it’s up to us to give a good per­for­mance and pro­vide a pos­i­tive re­flec­tion of this club.

“Would we like some more con­sis­tency and to move up the league? Yes, of course.

“But Gilling­ham is a tough place to go, so we’ll have to roll our sleeves up and work hard for any points that we can get.”

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