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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans delivers his weekly Sunday interview.

26 January 2020


Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans delivers his weekly Sunday interview.

26 January 2020

Gills boss Steve Evans answers a few questions following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Rochdale.

Q: Reflecting on yesterday's game, what are your overriding thoughts both in terms of performance and result?

A1: It was a game that for large parts we dominated but, unlike us, we gave away two cheap goals and had to settle for a point.

Both teams gave everything, but I felt our performance was down a notch.

We had the best chance of the entire match late on and we should have been going home with a win so again we were not ruthless enough despite giving Rochdale two simple goals.

Q: Spotland is always a tough place to go. Was it the sort of game you were expecting?

A2: Yes it was exactly.

Rochdale are an excellent passing team with a number of very good players.

We have lost heavily there over the last few years so it was a positive that we got a point, we know it should have been all three.

Q: Jordan Roberts scored twice and looked a threat all game. He showed exactly why you were so keen to sign him?

A3: Jordan is a good player and getting match fitter every time we get him on the pitch.

He can play in a number of positions as yesterday showed. The kid wants to improve and comes in every day with a real work ethic which gives you a head start as a player.

Q: John Akinde made his full debut. What did you make of his performance?

A4: It was difficult for John in that he hadn't trained all week but I wanted him to get at least an hour to bring him forward. He can be much better than he showed yesterday and he will be really good for us as we try and get near that top group.

Q: Over 250 fans made the trip. Their consistent backing both home and away has certainly made an impact?

A5: The supporters were brilliant again. It is an accolade I could put out after every game, but it's true.

They, to a person, know the lads are giving everything and more for them. There also seems to be a growing unity between the players and the fans..... it does not happen at every club but it's happening at the Gills.... we are in this together!

Q: How significant is it to remain unbeaten? Naturally I'm sure you would have liked a couple more wins but subconsciously it's a run the team will want to keep going for as long as possible?

A6: Yes you are correct, too many draws in games but at the same time we should have won at least three of them, and that's based on match dominance and chances missed.

We are a good team in League 1 but so very close to being very good. The lads must continue to work hard and be focused on their work.

Q: We are back in action on Wednesday night. How important is it we go into our ten day "break" with a win?

A7: Every game is important but Wednesday is more so because I do think a win will put us right in the middle of the fight for a playoff place.

As we enter February it gets most interesting and we are the team nobody ever considered might be in this end of season race.

The lads are deserving of a few days off and it would be brilliant for all of us if we did so on the back of a rocking MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Q: Shrewsbury are always tough to play against. Are you expecting a similar challenge to the one Rochdale posed?

A8: They are an excellent team, good players and have a good manager to help them.

Shrewsbury can beat anyone on their day and we have to be back to our best to have a chance of getting all the points on offer.

I am off to Shropshire shortly to watch them versus Liverpool….who said Managers got time off!!

Q: Matty Willock managed to get a few minutes out on the pitch at Rochdale. Is he pushing for a start?

A9: Yes he is, the kid has been working so hard, he is more than ready now but the lads in the team have been doing really well so when he starts matches he needs to work hard to stay in the team.

Q: We mentioned John Akinde. He came into the team with Tommy O'Connor out injured, how long do you think he will be out for?

A10: Tommy will miss Wednesday but should return to training a week tomorrow so he will be available for our trip to Burton.

Q: The transfer window closes at the end of next week. Are you expecting further additions to the squad?

A11: We are hoping to add to what is the smallest squad in League 1. Apart from Tommy O’Connor, who missed yesterday with injury, we had no other players available.

We have 19 First Team players so ideally we would add two new lads this week and that will be our focus in the next few days.


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