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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans answers a few questions following Saturday's 2-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

1 March 2020


Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans answers a few questions following Saturday's 2-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

1 March 2020

Some thoughts from the Gills Manager following Saturday's fixture at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Q: You've had chance to reflect on Saturday's performance. What are your overriding thoughts?

A1: The simple fact is that we did not turn up at any stage and it was a very poor performance. I take the responsibility totally and we will all work hard to ensure we get back to the standards we have set.

It looked, to me, like a game being played between two poor teams and we all know we are so much better than that.

Q: Having got ourselves back level we understandably went for the victory. We conceded late on as we sent men forward. What was the message for the players in the dressing room?

A2: I make no excuses for any part in our display but don’t forget we played with 10 men late on as Max Ehmer came off injured.

We still tried to keep a positive shape and that was clearly evidenced by the substitute choices.

Both the goals we conceded are poor from us and it has to be said, unlike us.

Q: Max Ehmer had to come off with a shoulder injury. Was it a simple dislocation or something a little more complex?

A3: Max had his shoulder pop out and although it was quickly put back in place by our medical team the pain was too much.

We all know that cost us deeply but no excuses will be offered. We did not deserve to lose but we did, so all the focus is on next week at Sunderland, a team I am watching today at Coventry.

There is no doubt Wimbledon should have been down to 10 men also when Luke O’Neill commits a cautionable offence when he fouled Regan off the ball, but the less I say about the match referee’s performance yesterday the better.

However, I must add that the likes of Luke, Callum Reilly and Joe Pigott, all ex-Gills lads, were very respectful after the match.

Q: Regan came off the bench and scored once more. It must be great knowing you have options on the bench who can change a game?

A4: Regan is training much brighter and his substitute appearances have also been good. He, among many, will play in a closed door match this midweek so it is up to all of them to show they want a starting shirt next Saturday.

Q: We have 10 games to go; a top 6 place is still within reach but in your view do we need to win at least 7 of those to stand a chance?

A5: What I do know is that we are 7 points away with 10 matches left to play. Most teams will drop points but we are still very much involved but dropping points like yesterday is not acceptable.

Q: The unbeaten run sadly comes to an end. I guess the challenge now is to start a new one?

A6: Absolutely. The lads have been brilliant and no one saw that coming yesterday.

It’s all about one game at a time but can we be within 6 points when there are 6 matches left?

Q: Sunderland away next, a really tough game. In your view, to remain in the chase, must we avoid defeat?

A7: It’s about performance to be frank. Can we perform at our best, and if we do, I will take whatever result we get.

Do not forget it’s also a big game for Sunderland but for me I know at our best we can win.

Q: You said last week it was inevitable we would have a bump in the road somewhere. The players have done so well over the past three months; on Monday is it a case of wiping Saturday from memory and resetting the focus?

A8: My thoughts are already fully focused on next Saturday and we need to be positive in our work.

A bad day does not make us a bad team. We have all the attributes to get in the playoffs but if we don’t I want us to demonstrate the passion, commitment and abilities we have become known for.

Today we hurt and tomorrow we regroup, focus on the next task and take on the club who is the giant in League 1.

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