“Totally melted,” Gillingham boss Harris told some players.

Manager Neil Harris admitted it was a joke to concede him on Boxing Day as some of his Gillingham side “melted” under pressure.

The encounter was bottom of the table at Priestfield with Giles losing 1–0, conceding an own goal in the 26th minute and falling into the net.

Neil Harris’ Gillingham side struggled against Colchester United at Priestfield Photo: KPI

“There was nothing in the game?” said Giles’ boss, Harris. “Too short of quality, tension, nerve, composure, you lack all that, right? The guys have to do better than that. (They are) a great bunch of guys, nice lads, but in terms of winning football matches, It’s terrifying.Don’t play like that and take a goal like that, it’s a joke.

“I couldn’t be more disappointed. I pick the team, I pick the right players in the building, and that’s all I can do until January.” [when the transfer window opens].

“Did Colchester deserve to win the game? No. Did we? Probably not. It was a pretty bad game, wasn’t it?”

“If you could sum up our season, that would be it (the goal) wouldn’t it? We threw the ball away on the cheap, it’s not too much of a risk, we still have a reserve player behind the ball, a three-for-four situation, the ball rolls in, I’m not sure it hits at the back of the network.

“We’re not getting anything at the other end. That sums it up and that’s why we need to change.”

Gills has a new owner and with additional money to his budget, Harris will have the opportunity to replace the underperformers.

Harris said: “I was expecting a better performance from my players than that, but maybe some of them are afraid of change.

“I think everyone has seen possession and when it happens in the dressing room, you’ve been there, you either go up with it or you go down because you know change is in full swing, it’s a new era for the football club, a new dawn and today the players didn’t get the memo. Some did, some were really good, and some just melted down.

“People keep asking me why did we do so well in the cups. (It is) because there is no pressure there? You go out and play and if you make it, and if you don’t, the players were okay with that, but as soon as there is any pressure And it becomes a league match, it just melts away.”

Robbie McKenzie – returning from injury – and young midfielder Dom Jeffries are two players who Harris mentioned have played well.

Gills did not receive the big calls against Colchester, with penalty claims ignored. Harris was adamant that a foul on Jordan Green should have been a penalty and there were others too, but referee Sam Purkiss gave them none.

Harris spoke to the official after the match and said: “Jordan Green was pulled into the box in the second leg from a corner kick and I just needed to know what he was thinking, he was honest enough to say he thought he messed up. I got it from two angles, hindsight is the thing.” Awesome, I know he got it wrong, it’s massive moments like swing football matches.

“It’s not helping me now, I didn’t raise my voice, I’m not in trouble, I didn’t swear at him, I just wanted to understand why it wasn’t a punishment. He can only be man enough and brave enough to say he might have done wrong, and I appreciate and respect that, but When you’re at the bottom of the league in a tough game like this, those decisions have to be right.

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