League One Preview: Managerless Gillingham look for a lift

The Gills relieved Martin Allen of his duties on Sunday after a run of two wins in 11 games after winning promotion from League Two, and host Preston North End on Saturday
Gillingham will begin life without manager Martin Allen when they host Preston North End in League One this weekend.

Allen was relieved of his duties at Priestfield on Sunday, just 24 hours after the club's 2-0 loss away to Shrewsbury Town, having claimed just nine points from 11 games.

Despite that run, his sacking was widely seen as something of a surprise, but Allen insists that he has no regrets about his time at the club.

In a statement released through the League Managers' Association, he said: "It goes without saying that I am deeply disappointed to have been relieved of my managerial duties at Gillingham having enjoyed some fantastic results in my 16 months in charge.

"I leave Gillingham with some fantastic memories and I am extremely proud to have guided the club to the League Two title in that time, their first in nearly 50 years."

Peter Taylor, who led the club to promotion in 2000, has been appointed as interim boss and will take charge for the first time against North End on Saturday.

Meanwhile, another managerless side, Sheffield United, slipped to the bottom of the league after a 3-2 loss away at Coventry last weekend and they will aim to recover quickly when they host mid-table Port Vale in the first league meeting between the two sides since 2000.

At the top of the table, leaders Leyton Orient will be confident of continuing their unbeaten start to the season as they travel to struggling Tranmere Rovers, although they will be fully aware that any slip-ups could see them knocked off the summit by Peterborough United, who host Shrewsbury.

Third-placed Wolves are another team in good form, having won their last three matches in the league, but they will be all too aware of the goalscoring talents of Coventry City’s Callum Wilson when the two teams meet at Molineux.

The 21-year old striker has been in blistering form so far this season, finding the net nine times.

Swindon Town will be buoyed by their emphatic  4-0 win away to Rotherham United last weekend, their first league victory on the road this season, and they face relegation-threatened Notts County at the County Ground in Friday’s only game.

Meanwhile, Rotherham will aim to bounce back from that defeat when they travel to fellow play-off contenders MK Dons.

Bradford face a tricky trip to mid-table Crawley Town, while Brentford host Colchester United.

At the Banks's Stadium, Walsall host relegation-threatened Stevenage, with the visitors' 2-1 win over Brentford last time out their first victory in their last seven league games.

Also at the wrong end of the table, second-from-bottom Bristol City travel to Crewe Alexandra, while Oldham Athletic - in 19th - entertain a Carlisle United side four places above them.