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Taylor targets Gills rejuvenation

20 November 2013

By Tony Leighton

An FA Cup defeat to non-league Brackley Town will not divert Gillingham's new manager Peter Taylor from the task of establishing his team in Sky Bet League 1.

The Gills went down 1-0 in a first round replay, joining victims like Swindon Town, Scunthorpe United and Cheltenham Town of non-league giant-killing acts.

But Taylor cursed his side's luck at Brackley, where they hit the post three times and had a 'goal' controversially ruled out for offside.

The Gills now have only League 1 matches ahead of them for the rest of the season as they strive to consolidate their position in the table.

And if Taylor does as well at the club as he did in his previous stint in charge at Priestfield, then a bright future looks on the cards.

For the time being though, Taylor - who in 2000 led the Gills to promotion to the Championship - is focused on hauling his team away from relegation danger.

When he replaced the departed Martin Allen in early October he took over a side that, after promotion last season, were just a point above the drop zone.

But, after winning three of their five league games under the new boss, the Gills have climbed to 14th in the table and are four points clear of the bottom four.

"If we can win three out of every five league games I'll be delighted," Taylor told as he reflected on the start to his tenure.

"At times we've been very good but at other times we've been poor," he added, "and a few supporters are a touch frustrated that we're not playing better.

"But it's not going to happen straight away. We've changed the style of play and the players are all working as hard as they possibly can to get it right.

"We're now playing more of a passing game and the players are enjoying it, not just in matches but in training where we do a lot of good work with the ball."

Saturday's win at Sheffield United edged Taylor's team up the table but left the Blades, under their new manager Nigel Clough, pinned in the relegation zone.

"What a division this is," said Taylor. "Who'd have thought just a few years ago that the likes of Wolves, Sheffield United and Coventry would be in League 1?

"It's a really tough division and our challenge, in the position we're in at the moment, is to continue improving if we're going to compete at this level."

Taylor has competed successfully at several levels as manager of not only Gillingham but also of Brighton and Hove Albion, Hull City and Wycombe Wanderers.

He led the Seagulls up to the Championship, the Tigers to League 1 and then to the Championship, and most recently the Chairboys to League 1 in 2011.

"I've enjoyed some good times at different clubs," said Taylor, "but promotion is not our target right now - the short term aim is to get established in League 1."

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