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Gaffer previews Rochdale

Gills boss looks forward to Rochdale test.

18 December 2020

Gills manager wary of Rochdale strengths.

Gillingham travel to Rochdale for this weekend’s Sky Bet League One fixture and Steve Evans is calling on his players to show the fight he witnessed in the second half of their 2-0 loss to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, but now wants to see “90 minutes of consistency.”

Evans, who spoke with local media ahead of the game, said: “Individual performances always makes a team performance, and they were not good against Accrington. In the second half I have no complaints, we played some excellent football. It has been an honest reaction from them. We have a lot of good players but some of them are still trying to find their feet.

“As a manager you review yourself before you review your playing squad. We may need to be more assertive with them before they go and start the game. We need to come through this festive period and get into January and see what we can do to help the group. A win would put us around tenth or eleventh position. It would be tremendous as we are a new group who have had to play without key injured players.”

Gillingham have faced mounting injuries throughout the campaign, with Dominic Samuel being the most recent name added to the long list, but Evans is keen to channel that disappointment into determination and expects incoming players to make an impression.

He said: “We have had to face the season without some important players. We are backs to the wall at the moment. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves, we fight.

“We will pick the team honestly and fairly; I don’t care about names or reputations. It’s a big chance for some of our lads to come in and grab a shirt. They are either going to grab these big opportunities or they are not, that lies with them. The challenge is there for all our group.”

The Gillingham manager believes a win over Rochdale, who impressed on Tuesday with a 5-0 away win at Wigan, would be a great result for his team but he is not, despite their inconsistent results, taking the opposition lightly.
He said: “Rochdale is a tough gig to play at. It will be a tough afternoon for us but all the games are. Rochdale do what Rochdale do, the manager has gone out and signed new recruits who are bedding in.

“It is a real tough place to go. They are always a good side and they have got some really great players. They lack consistency but it is the same for us. The more consistent team on the day will win.”

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