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Interviews

Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans delivers his usual Sunday round-up.

23 February 2020

The Gillingham Manager answers a few questions following the 0-0 draw at Lincoln.

Q: Reflecting on Saturday's game, do you think a draw was fair or do you feel we did enough to win?

A1: Yes I think a draw is a fair result. However, if any team shaded the match then clearly it was ourselves.

I am really pleased that Connor Ogilvie and particularly Regan Charles-Cook came through two of the most sinister challenges I have seen in a long time, they have no place in football. It was interesting that some of the staff at Lincoln City agreed with me and were in touch to make sure my lads were okay.

Moving on, we need to play much better than yesterday to force ourselves into the race for the play-offs, but there is no doubt we are good enough.

The application and desire of the players cannot be faulted, the boys are fantastic in their work ethic, that must continue.

Every day we look to make positive progress in all areas of playing football and that must continue.

My staff also deserve enormous credit, long hours, long days, and with that we give the boys every chance to win football matches.

Q: Conditions, as they have for the last couple of weeks, certainly played a part but in the second half we appeared to adapt a lot better?

A2: The windy conditions are always horrible to play in. We certainly were by far the better team in the second half and had enough good possession in the final third to score a goal or two but the ball never fell kindly for us all afternoon.

Q: Alfie Jones returned to the starting XI, what did you make of his performance?

A3: Alfie was steady after being missing for a few weeks.

He won more than his share of his midfield battles and had great energy, having him back is a major boost for us.

Q: Jack Bonham made a terrific save in the second half. The back four have received a lot of praise but has Jack's presence gone under appreciated?

A4: Internally Jack has received the praise and recognition he deserves.

Any club at our level would miss Tomas Holly who departed to Ipswich Town but the outstanding form of Jack has allowed him to be forgotten quickly.

Jack is 7 clean sheets short of what Tomas did in two seasons, that statistic alone paints a picture.

Q: Our recent schedule has asked a lot of the squad. In some way are you pleased to have a free week?

A5: Yes, absolutely. In some recent games we have had 14 fully fit players for selection so the boys have been brilliant.

There is an 18 man squad here, the smallest first team squad in the EFL. There is a lot of quality players and outstanding professionals here. They are a very close unit and everyone is playing a part, that is very much needed.

Q: AFC Wimbledon come to town next Saturday. They were the last team to beat us in the league. What sort of game are you expecting?

A6: It will be a really tough match, every match in League 1 is always difficult because there is very little between the teams. They have many good players and will be very organised but we are back at home after having 4 of the last 5 league matches away from home.

Q: How proud are you are of this team? At the start of the season some bookies and pundits placed us as bottom three/four favourites, but we have certainly raised a few eyebrows?

A6: The fact is we were second favourites for relegation so to be achieving what we are gives me great pride.

The staff, players and supporters are giving it everything they have. It would be an amazing achievement for us to get a play-off place but I really do believe in these lads.

I am looking forward to the fans forum on Thursday. I really hope you can get along, it promises to be a great night.


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