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Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Friday, 11 November 2011

Gillingham's Simon King praises Plymouth Argyle players

Simon King
King returns to the Gillingham squad for the FA Cup tie with Bournemouth

Gillingham defender Simon King says has full admiration for the Plymouth team he played with during his loan spell.

In his two months at Home Park the 28-year-old saw the club almost go out of business, sack the manager who signed him, Peter Reid, and then taken over.

"On my first day the players talked about going on strike. I thought 'typical that's all I need'," he said.

"They hadn't been paid for nine months. It must have been so tough. The players were a credit to themselves."

As a strike was threatened, King's wages were being paid by Gillingham so he was one of the only members of the squad being paid, and it was not something he was comfortable with as he prepared for his debut against Burton Albion.

He told BBC Radio Kent: "It was getting beyond a joke. They were thinking of going on strike for Burton away and getting something done, it was really desperate times.

"I was hearing some of their stories. I thought if I was in their position, not getting paid, it must have been so tough. You've got to have a roof over your head. Some of them had mortgages and families and they were not getting paid.

"I think it would have got the club into more trouble and they decided it wasn't worth it in the end.

"It was difficult. I couldn't say much. I was still getting paid by Gillingham, but the boys were great. They didn't let it show. They still worked hard."

Two weeks into his loan spell Reid was sacked with Plymouth bottom of the table.

King admits to feeling sorry for the former Sunderland boss in difficult circumstances: "He seemed like a good manager. It was tough for him with the players not being paid, but it's a results business. But I can't comment on that, I'd only been there a couple of weeks."

King says he will be following Plymouth's results and feels now the club has been taken over businessman James Brent they will survive relegation.

He said: "Things are looking up for them. They're out of administration. There are a lot of games to go and I think they'll be alright."

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see also
Gills may recall King from Argyle
07 Oct 11 |  Gillingham
Argyle agree King loan extension
22 Sep 11 |  Plymouth
Gills' King joins Argyle on loan
31 Aug 11 |  Plymouth

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