Hess: Four points 'the minimum'

Last updated : 29 October 2004 By Headley
Hess: four points 'at least'
The Gills entertain Wolves tomorrow, with Watford coming to Priestfield on Tuesday night - and the gaffer wants a minimum of four points from the two matches.

"It's a massive game for us - they all are - and one we are hoping will turn our season around. I'm looking for six points from our next two home games or at least four points to kick-start our season."

Gillingham have suffered a repeat of the injury jinx they had last season - and that has meant Hessenthaler's hand has been forced in terms of team selection.

The Gills boss said, "It will be a young team, with a few experienced players, and maybe that's the key - they will play with no fear in their bodies.

"Our injury problems have been well documented and losing four more players at West Ham was a blow. The team basically picks itself this weekend.

"We may be healthier for Watford with Paul Smith and Alan Pouton coming back but we won't know until the day of the game really."

Wolves didn't play Gillingham last season, as they were in the Premiership, but the year before they ran riot in both matches, winning 4-0 at Priestfield and 6-0 at Molineux. However, the Midlands-based side has not started too well themselves and have only just started to pick up results.

"Wolves have had problems themselves, but have picked up in their last two games. We know what to expect and know we must improve.," said Hessenthaler.

"They have quality and strength in their side with players like Carl Cort, who is on fire at the moment and the lad Mark Kennedy who always seems to hurt us.

"But we won't be worrying too much about them. We will be worrying about ourselves. We will be in their faces from the start and battling for every ball.

"If the fans get behind us,and we keep our concentration the full 90 minutes, then there is no reason why we cannot get something from the match. We are due a clean sheet and it would be nice to get that in front of our home fans.

"The signs that things are turning are there because we have had a lot of the football in our last few games."

Tommy Johnson and Matt Bodkin both impressed for the reserves midweek - and will both be in the squad for tomorrow's match, which also sees Jason Brown making his first home appearance in the League this season. Steve Banks was the number one until last weekend against West Ham - and Hessenthaler has said he will be going with Brown again against Wolves.

“We just felt that considering the run we are in, we should give Jason Brown a run in the team.

“Steve Banks has done nothing wrong but we wanted to try a different voice behind the defence. Steve wasn’t happy about it but he’s a great professional and his attitude in training has been fantastic.”

Gillingham's young guns will need to be at their best if they are to pick up the win Andy Hessenthaler so desperately needs. After a run of seven straight defeats, it's time the Gills put in a real performance for the full 90 minutes and started turning the corner. Will it happen on Saturday? Get yourself down to Priestfield and find out...