Gillingham appoint Neil Harris on a two-and-a-half-year contract after Bromley boss Andy Woodman declined move to Priestfield Stadium

Monday 31st January 2022

GILLINGHAM chairman Paul Scally has unveiled Neil Harris as their new manager.

Harris and David Livermore started work this morning by meeting the staff at eight o’clock and the players at midday.

Both individuals have agreed two-and-a-half year contracts, they took training for the first time today and will be in charge for tomorrow’s home League One fixture against Crewe Alexandra at Priestfield Stadium.

Gillingham submitted an official approach for current Bromley manager Andy Woodman, who decided to stay at the third-placed National League side.

“The club can confirm that Andy Woodman remains our manager,” said a Bromley statement yesterday.

“Despite an official approach from Gillingham, Andy has decided to remain at Hayes Lane and concentrate on the job at hand as we continue to challenge for promotion to the Football League.”

Gills chairman Scally said in a statement: “It has been a difficult task over the past few weeks, interviewing and selecting the right candidate but I am delighted that with Neil’s experience, his knowledge and passion of this Football Club, and his desire to take the club on a new journey, that today is the start of a new tomorrow.

“After a difficult weekend, Neil’s first job will be to oversee any movement of players, in or out of the club today, and to prepare the team as best he can for tomorrow night’s game.

“I would ask all supporters who care and love the club, irrespective of their views on other matters, to come out and support the club in force tomorrow evening and focus solely on supporting the team and showing the new management team the respect and consideration they deserve, which will enable them to start the process of rebuilding the team.

“It won’t be an immediate fix but Neil will change the world for the better as quickly as possible. The work starts immediately.”

The former Millwall and Cardiff City boss takes over from Steve Lovell, who has left the club following his interim spell in charge, with Steve Evans having left his position earlier in the month.

The chairman added: “I spoke with Steve Lovell yesterday who has done a fantastic job in trying to sort the team out over the last few weeks; he is a legend at this Football Club and will always remain so, and I thank him for what he tried to do.”

Gillingham suffered a humilating 7-2 home defeat to Oxford United at the weekend and remain second-from-bottom in the third-tier with 19 points from 28 games and are on a run of 14 league games without a win (16 in all competitions).

Oxford midfielder Cameron Brannagan scored four goals from the penalty spot, leaving Gillingham 11 points adrift of safety (taking goal-difference into account) with 18 league games left to avoid the drop.

Crewe Alexandra are one place and three points higher than the Kent side going into the relegation six-pointer.

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