Hess set to give youth a chance

Last updated : 27 October 2004 By Headley

Bodkin: possible start
Speaking to BBC Radio Kent, Hessenthaler suggested that he may drop himself and go with the youngsters against Wolves on Saturday.

"We're struggling in the table and now we're struggling with players, so we're going to have to work hard this week to try and bring some players in. If not, we're going to have to play a young team aren't we?"

"I'm half thinking about leaving myself out next week, so if that that means you have to play the kids, you play the kids. I'm thinking about the younger ones for next week and if we've got to go with the younger ones, we go with the younger ones, but we will try to bring some people in."

Should Hessenthaler opt to rest himself, it could mean a start for young Matt Bodkin.  He impressed with his enthusiasm, energy and work rate in preseason - and could do a job on the right of the Gills' midfield, which could consist of the youthful quartet of Jarvis, Crofts, Spiller and Bodkin. 

The situation at Priestfield is looking bleaker by the week. The side haven't kept a clean sheet all season - and have lost seven on the bounce. Despite the current situation, Hessenthaler is convinced he will turn things around.

"We know what we've got to do. We've got to stay in the division."

"We are now having problems, but performances haven't been that bad over the last few games but we keep saying that. If we can cut out the defensive errors, we'll turn the season around."

It’s cutting out those errors that seems to be the biggest problem at the moment. Despite plenty of work in training, the Gills defence remains the most obliging in the Championship – conceding an average of two goals per game so far this season.

With the injury list mounting, the defence failing to improve and the required points per game ratio going up by the week, things are mounting up against the Gills. It’s going to take a Lazarus-style comeback to get out of trouble and avoid relegation…even if it is only October.