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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans answers a few questions following Gillingham's 1-0 win over Sunderland at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

8 December 2019


Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans answers a few questions following Gillingham's 1-0 win over Sunderland at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

8 December 2019

The Gaffer reflects on Saturday's win.

Q: Another excellent result, and performance, on Saturday to beat Sunderland 1-0. We left it late but a thoroughly deserved win?

A1: The performance was outstanding from start to finish.

We dominated in every area of the pitch and had the lads got their rewards it would have been over as a contest at half-time.

The lads fitness levels are fantastic and that was again demonstrated as we went to the very end of the match once more.

Q: A fantastic finish from Connor Ogilvie. Like the entire squad, he has been fantastic in the last few weeks and looks extremely comfortable in that left-back role?

A2: We had to do a lot of hard work with Connor in that area but he has embraced that and has been superb.

All the lads are working so hard. There is also a real togetherness and we all love working towards our objectives for the season.

Q: The roar when the ball hit the net was quite something and the fans joined in with the celebrations. They have really got behind the boys and have certainly done their bit to help make Priestfield a fortress?

A3: Our supporters are not our twelfth man.... they are, for me, our key man.

Their support has been incredible and as I have said many times, .... without them we are nothing.

The noise and scenes of the supporters and players celebrating together yesterday was a joy to watch.

Q: Brandon Hanlan was denied a goal in the first half and Sunderland stuck men behind the ball to achieve a result. Was there a point where you felt we may have to settle for 0-0?

A4: I was really disappointed Brandon's goal was not given especially as it came at a time when we were totally dominant.

The ball is clearly over the line by some distance, but it's football and we must move on from it.

Brandon again was excellent and he continues to improve week by week.

Q: Five straight home wins, five straight home clean sheets. You must be very proud of the players?

A5: Yes I am. In the main we are a young team and they, alongside the few experienced lads, are grasping what we want. The lads are working hard every day and the standards being applied must be kept up.

Q: How important is it now to maintain these standards, particularly over the festive period?

A6: We have a couple of key matches before the festive seasons football kicks in.

I am only interested in making sure the lads are ready to face Fleetwood next Saturday. Joey Barton is a man I wholly respect and one who I think is doing a fantastic job.

If we are not fully focused and ready for that challenge then we will pay a price.

These lads of ours have a fantastic work ethic, a togetherness as well as ability so it's back to work on the training ground as it's all about the next challenge in football.

Q: Mark Byrne went off injured in the first half; is there anything you can tell us regarding the nature of the injury?

A7: Mark will have a scan tomorrow to establish what is the problem.

The lad has been terrific for us and will be missed, but let's all hope it's good news.

Q: What was your message to the players after the game? How difficult will it be to keep this run going?

A8: Obviously I congratulated them on such a good performance but also told them it was now about recovery and being ready to face Fleetwood.

Q: And it's Fleetwood away next Saturday, a long trip. What's the plan for the week ahead?

A9: The lads will work hard all week before we set off for the north west on Friday morning.

We will train in the north in the afternoon and then let the lads relax to get themselves focused on the task.  

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