Neil Harris conceded Gillingham’s forward players are out of their depth in Sky Bet League Two after they once again failed to score in a 3-0 home loss to Salford.
The Gills have scored just six times in 20 League Two games and Harris watched on in frustration as they failed to convert their first-half dominance into a half-time lead.
They were made to pay in the second half, as Theo Vassell, Ryan Watson and Callum Hendry struck to snap a four-game winless run for Salford.
Harris took the blame for the defeat but has run out of ideas to turn their fortune in front of goal around, and lashed out at the way they surrendered in the second half.
“We don’t score enough in training and that transforms into games, and that comes down to ability. I can’t change personnel,” he said.
“I’ve tried every combination going. Sometimes you just have to accept it’s personnel.
“Can you explain to me how we can be that good first half and that bad second half? It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s not the first time it’s happened this season and you can’t make it up.
“You can’t be that dominant and not score. Salford were nowhere near us in the first half. We looked miles better than them and they’re a team in the top six or seven of this league.
“The first goal is a gamechanger. It comes down to balls and leadership – it’s why we are where we are in the league and it’s why these players are playing for this team.
“Then there’s the reaction afterwards: where’s the leadership? I’m not putting this on the players as it’s my group. It should be questioned by the fans, by you guys and the owner. It falls on me and it hasn’t been good enough.”
While Gillingham appear set for a second straight battle against relegation, Salford have set their sights on rejoining the play-off race following their first win in five games.
“We’ve not been too down about it,” said manager Neil Wood.
“I’ve said a few times this season that we’ve been waiting for everything to come right. I’m really pleased because we had to battle it out in the first half. We defended really well and from there we knew that we could get control of the game, which we did in the second half.
“We scored a really good goal to get us going and then had a bit of luck for the second. We’ve not really had the benefit of scoring scruffy goals and had a few like that go against us, so we’ll take that. The third is an unbelievable strike.”
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