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Steve Lovell has told his Gillingham players what to expect against Leyton Orient in the first round of the FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 November 2017

Gillingham caretaker manager Steve Lovell (pic: Daniel Hambury/PA Images).

Gillingham caretaker manager Steve Lovell (pic: Daniel Hambury/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

The FA Cup clash will allow the two clubs a break from league action where they have both struggled in their respective divisions

Gillingham caretaker manager Steve Lovell has told his players to match Leyton Orient in all departments this weekend if they are to beat the National League side.

The two clubs take a break from their league campaigns do battle at Priestfield Stadium in the first round of the FA Cup.

Both teams have struggled in League One and the National League respectively this term, but will aim to use Saturday as a springboard to more success.

Gills won last time out – at Rotherham United – but haven’t been victorious on home turf since September 16.

Yet Orient’s only victory from their last 11 games in all competitions occurred against Dagenham & Redbridge on October 17.

It means both clubs will look to improve their form and also reach the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

“There’s a chance to progress and it’s a big game for everybody and the players will be fighting to get through to the next round,” said Lovell.

“We’ve got to match Leyton Orient; they have experience up front and are strong at the back. We need to be prepared, which we will be.

“There won’t be too many changes to the side we’ve had in the last few games. I’m enjoying seeing the team perform.”

Orient will come up against a number of familiar names this weekend with former fans favourite Gabriel Zakuani part of the Gillingham squad.

The Gills goalkeeper Stuart Nelson has also spent some time at Brisbane Road while Luke O’Neill and Scott Wagstaff enjoyed short loan spells with the O’s in the past.

If things had gone different in the summer then Gillingham midfielder Billy Bingham could have been an Orient player.

The former Dagenham ace was interested in moving to Brisbane Road, but with old owner Francesco Becchetti still in charge, he failed to reach an agreement with the east Londoners and ended up at the League One club.

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