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Preview: Gillingham's weekend opponents Hartlepool United have a new manager in Keith Curle after replacing sacked Paul Hartley

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Gillingham will be venturing into the unknown as they take on a Hartlepool United team with a new manager. Experienced manager Keith Curle took charge this week on an interim basis after Paul Hartley was sacked.

Gillingham’s weekend opponents sit second from bottom in League 2, two points worse off than Neil Harris’ side and without a win in the league from their opening nine games.

It’s a massive game on Saturday. Victory for the Gills will see them push clear of the relegation places and go some way to putting last weekend’s drab defeat to Mansfield behind them but lose and they will be in the bottom two.

For Harris, he’s had to focus on his own team, as he admits they don’t know what the opposition will do. “I do expect a very different Hartlepool with a different style of play,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to respond, and find a way of winning games. “In Keith they have an experienced League 2 manager, he should be able to hit the ground running, they have obviously had a disappointing start themselves, you normally get that new manager bounce and we have to be wary of that and there will probably be a change of attitude in the stadium. “But as soon as Paul Hartley lost his job, whoever was going to come in, it becomes a bit of the unknown for us, but when it is the unknown you focus on yourself.

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