Gab call puts more pressure on Gills...
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.”