Gaffer | "Players deserve the credit"

The Gills manager was full of praise for his men following Wednesday's win in Bristol.

Steve Evans heaped praise on his players as his team reacted to Saturday’s defeat against Exeter City by recording an excellent 2-0 victory over Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium on Wednesday evening. 

Goals from Vadaine Oliver either side of the interval gave the Gills a deserved win after a fine team display, moving them into the top half of Sky Bet League 1 in the process. 

Speaking after the game, he said: “In fairness to the boys we carried on from the last 25 minutes against Exeter. We were strong physically, played with a lot of cohesion, we worked on a different game plan, this is a different opposition and I watched them win six at the weekend. 

“We did some work to combat how Tis [Paul Tisdale] would play; we knew Brandon Hanlan would come in. We set about our business and the only disappointing aspect is that we didn’t score a lot more goals, particularly in the first half. I thought we missed three or four good chances but we had lots of energy, lots of supporting play and you have to give credit to the players; only the players. 

“We asked for a reaction, we demanded a reaction, they know how we work, and they gave us one. If they play like that it’s good to watch. It’s demanding because we have to work so hard. We have a great bunch. We controlled possession when we could.  

“I think we were strong; we had to be. We knew we had to deal with wide players who come in very efficiently off the lines, and we did that. Once we were able to do that it gave us a great base for the likes of Robertson and Dempsey to play. I thought some of their passing and moving was great and our front three caused all sorts of problems with the physicality of the two big lads and we had the best performance in a Gills shirt, under me, from Dominic Samuel."

The Gills boss admitted that he wasn’t beyond fault for last Saturday’s FA Cup exit, but said Wednesday’s win was fully down to the character of his squad.

He added: “We all let ourselves down on Saturday, no more than me. I got the shape of the team wrong. We spoke about that in a team meeting, hands up to the players, no issue with that. It’s not the standards that we set ourselves as a team and Football Club. 

“I didn’t help us against Exeter, I didn’t help the group. I said to the Chairman I got it wrong; I knew I got it wrong. The boys deserve the credit.”