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Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Gillingham can take criticism - Barry Fuller

Barry Fuller
Skipper Barry Fuller has made 13 appearances for Gillingham this season

Gillingham captain Barry Fuller insists that his team are strong enough to cope with criticism from their fans.

The Gills were booed off following the 2-0 defeat by Wycombe Wanderers at the Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday night.

But Fuller told BBC Radio Kent: "The fans pay their money to come and watch us and are entitled to their opinion.

"It's hard to take as a player but you've got to be strong enough and brave enough to take it. If you're not then you're in the wrong game."

The loss to the Chairboys extended Gillingham's poor run to one win from seven games, a streak that has seen them slip to 20th in League Two, two points above the relegation zone.

"We understand the fans are hurting but the players are as well," said Fuller. "It's not as if they players aren't and don't want to work for the club.

"As a player you would like the supporters to be behind you a bit more in these tough times because you need your fans, especially at home.

"We want to be in the same place as them and if we all stick together and they get behind us and hopefully we can get on track as soon as possible."

As well as booing the Gills from the field, supporters also vented their anger by leaving angry graffiti directed at manager Andy Hessenthaler and chairman Paul Scally close to the stadium.

"I can understand their frustrations but the players didn't go out there and not try," said Hessenthaler.

"We're in a little bit of a rut right now, but do we give up on it or work through it?

"I know what I want to do and I know what the players want to do.

"They're just lacking confidence at the minute and where do you get your confidence from? Winning games. But we're not doing that at the moment.

"We've lost our last two so it's frustrating but we've got to keep going, keep working hard and turn things around."

One consolation for Hessenthaler on an otherwise forgettable night was the form of teenage striker Ashley Miller on his first team debut.

After coming on as a second-half substitute, the 16-year-old Dover Grammar School pupil nearly scored with his first touch.

"Some people may say I shouldn't have put him on because we were under pressure," added Hessenthaler. "But the kid's got no fear.

"He was a bit nervous obviously because it's his league debut at 16. But what was pleasing for me was that, as I walked off the pitch a lot of Wycombe players came off and tapped him on the head and said 'How old are you?'

"When he said he was 16 they told him he had a massive future so it was nice for that to come from the Wycombe players.

"It's just a shame we're lacking a bit of confidence in the team because that would have helped him even more.

"But I'm delighted for the kid. He's made his start and he's got a big future."



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