Evans proud of players following Southend win

Gaffer reacts to Southend victory.

Gillingham Manager Steve Evans was happy to see his side return to winning ways against Southend United on Saturday, with his team clinching an impressive 3-1 win.

Alfie Jones, Stuart O’Keefe and Brandon Hanlan were all on target for the hosts, and they could have scored more had it not been for the efforts of Southend keeper Mark Oxley who made a string of fine saves and saved one of Mikael Ndjoli’s two penalties.

Evans said after the game: “We’ve seen the game out really well, making chances, moving the ball, we could have significantly added to the goal difference, but it’s three points, and you can see what it means to them, especially the supporters who travelled to Oxford and witnessed a shocking performance.”

Report | Gillingham 3-1 Southend United

The gaffer was happy with the response from his players following their disappointing performance at the Kassam Stadium last week, saying: “I’m proud of the players, they took rightful criticism, as we did as staff [after the Oxford game], I stood in front of them as I always would, and they know that.”

The Gillingham manager also had praise for Mikael Ndjoli, despite the striker missing two penalties. He said: “I watched him quite a lot at Kilmarnock, a little bit at Bournemouth in the under 23s, and today he’s absolutely torn them apart from the first minute to the last minute. He’s such a fantastic finisher, that’s why there was no hesitation throwing him the ball for the second penalty.”

Evans also took time to congratulate the ten Southend United fans who walked to the game from Southend to raise money for the Shrimpers Trust. He said: “My daughter made me aware of it on Friday. The Shrimpers Trust is a great cause, and as I arrived at the car park, I saw a host of yellow shirts coming round the corner and those guys, ladies and children, I shook hands with every one of them. I, and my family will donate £250 to the Shrimpers Trust.”