The Pre-Match Warm-Up: Gillingham vs Millwall

Last updated : 12 February 2005 By Neil Andrews
Andy Marshall
Millwall make the short visit to The Priestfield Stadium tomorrow looking for their first win in Kent since Paul Wilkinson scored in the dying minutes to secure a 3-1 victory back in the 1997 season. And manager Dennis Wise knows that victory will put The Lions' play-off hopes firmly back on track.

"This is an important game for both sides," Wise told The Lions' official website. "We're looking to get into the Play-Offs, whilst Gillingham are fighting a relegation battle. They are playing extremely well at home, so we'll be looking to make it a bit more difficult for them.

"I think the players are really looking forward to this game. We're still in a position to get ourselves into the top six with 15 games to go, so we still feel we've got a very good chance of doing something. But we do have to start winning some games, and it would be great to get back to winning ways at Priestfield on Saturday."

Wise has named an unchanged squad for the trip, having lost both Paul Ifill and Peter Sweeney to injury for the run-in and with Graham Stack injured for another month, Andy Marshall will keep his place between the sticks. But the former England U-21 keeper, who once enjoyed a loan spell with The Gills, knows that Millwall will have to have their wits about them to avoid their fourth defeat in six games.

"It's a very difficult place to play football," noted The Lions' keeper. "It's not the best of pitches and is a small and compact stadium. It can be made a very unpleasant afternoon for teams that go down there.

"But Gillingham have been struggling this year and it's going to be a great chance for us to get a result and start kicking on again towards the play-offs."

Gillingham, for their part, are looking forward to the fixture, having won four of their last six home games, and could welcome back Martin Jarvis and Steve Banks.

"It's a derby game", remarked Gillingham manager Stan Ternent. "Anything can happen. It's going to come down to who can handle it the best."