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Evans | "We had to be professional"

Gaffer speaks to the press following victory over Bolton at Priestfield.

2 September 2019

Gills boss delivers his verdict following Bolton victory.

Steve Evans hailed his side’s professionalism as they notched their first win of the season in style, beating Bolton Wanderers 5-0 at Priestfield on Saturday.

Connor Ogilvie opened the scoring for Evans’ men before Olly Lee opened his account for his new club, just days after signing. Brandon Hanlan netted his first league goal before Lee netted a stylish second. An own goal added further gloss to the scoreline as it ended 5-0 in Medway.

Speaking after the game, Evans said: “I think we all know the winners today are Bolton Wanderers Football Club, the fact that they are in existence and they are here. But we had to be professional and we had to go about our business, and I think anyone that was here knew it could have been anything.”

Evans continued: “Breaking down a packed defence is tough, I thought Olly (Lee) got into little pockets really well. We should have been three of four up before we got the goal. But once we got the goal it settled us down and we came out for the second half and it was a siege mentality on their goal.”

Matty Willock made his Gillingham debut after recovering from a hamstring injury which kept him out of the opening few weeks of the season and Evans was pleased to have him back, and admitted there was more to come. “It was great to get Matty Willock 45 minutes, that was the plan, believe it or not. He wasn’t as great in the first half as he could have been, but that was the plan before the game.

“I said to my players we were on a hiding to nothing. I got a text from my brother in Glasgow who said that if we win today nobody in the country will take any notice. But it’s the way we played, the manner in which we moved the ball and the manner we created opportunities. The bench was strong today, and if the chairman supports us it’ll be even stronger by Monday.

“We’ve got a large nucleus of a good squad today but we have to balance it. Did I want Elliott List to leave, no. He’s a fantastic impact player, but did I see him starting every week, no. He’s a great lad, and he’ll get first team football at Stevenage. He’ll be a real pain some weeks when I read the paper and see he’s got a hat-trick etc. He wanted to play and you have to respect his opinions, but I have to ensure the numbers work. This is a bottom four budget and we are trying to push it towards the top 10.”

Gillingham are next in action when they host Colchester in the trophy and Evans confirmed it will be a younger looking Gills side. “We’ll change it around. There’s no point in telling the Gillingham public it’s going to be the strongest starting XI, because it won’t be. We’ve got players that need minutes.”

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