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Interviews

Gaffer at the Weekend

Some thoughts from the Gills boss.

27 October 2019

Steve Evans answers a few questions.

Q: Three points on the road, a clean sheet and your first away win of the season yesterday at Accrington. Just give us your assessment of the performance?

A1: It is always pleasing when you win but, in fairness, to the lads our away performances have for large parts been very good.

Accrington are a decent team especially at home. I went to watch them last Sunday when they easily beat Ipswich Town so to go there and win takes a lot of characteristics needed to win a football match.

Q: You said you were not overly happy with the first half display, what was your message to the boys at the interval?

A2: We started really brightly and for ten minutes we caused Accrington problems but we then for no reason stopped applying what we had been doing.

At half-time I delivered a few home truths and the boys accepted it was way short of the standards expected.

We changed systems and style and it worked, for large parts we took control of the game but Jack Bonham in goal it has to be said made a few smart saves that in turn allowed us to take the three points back to Kent.

Q: They came out in the second half and put Accrington on the back foot straight away. A well worked move for the goal and a top finish from Regan?

A3: Regan is very capable of the super finish he provided. He started the game really brightly and then fell away but in fairness he had a very hard working second half and he got his rewards.

The goal came after a number of short crisp passes and young Tommy O'Connor's pass to free Regan in the box was sublime.

Q: Some excellent goalkeeping from Jack Bonham too. You were delighted to have captured his signature in the summer and he very much had to earn his clean sheet yesterday?

A4: Jack has been deserving of a few clean sheets recently but has been let down by a few uncharacteristic individual mistakes but yesterday all the lads defensively were at the top of their game.

Q: A word on Mark Byrne who made his 150th Gills appearance at Accrington. Back in the side after a ban and put in a real shift, as ever?

A5: Mark is a player who gives you everything seven days a week. He prepares properly, trains every day with a purpose and it's great he has got to 150 appearances for the Gills, but hopefully he has a lot more to come.

Q: Overall, a good day at the office but I'm sure you'll be quick to set the next challenge which will be to defeat Rotherham at Priestfield?

A6: Rotherham United are a club deep in my heart. I had the most wonderful years at The New York Stadium working for two brilliant men in Chairman Tony Stewart and his son, vice Chairman, Richard.

To this day Tony and myself still meet up for dinner and talk frequently, a true gentleman.

The current manager Paul Warne was my fitness coach during those years and I am delighted to see him doing so well.

They are full of talented players at The New York Stadium and that comes via Tony & Richard Stewart putting in place a very competitive top end budget and of course Warny signing the right players.

They went away to Ipswich Town last Wednesday and won very easily so it's another tough one for us but we will work on a plan this week to help us achieve the points we desire.

Q: What's the plan this week training wise? Barry Fuller and Matty Willock likely to be involved?

A8: Both lads should be on the grass this week which is great.

I cannot emphasise enough how good a player Matty Willock is but we now need him playing football.  Barry will do everything he can to be ready for Saturday, a brilliant professional.

Q: Just finally, I gather you personally contacted a supporter earlier today who attended Saturday's game having experienced a personal tragedy recently. Although three points was very welcome do things like that put the game into perspective?

A9: When I was made aware of the circumstances I felt really down and I felt it only appropriate to message him.

My families thoughts are prayers are with him and his family to stay strong and build a bright future.

From my message exchanges he is a proper Gills family man and yesterday's result he remarked it helped him smile, the power of football is simply amazing.


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