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Interviews

Gaffer | "We will have to be at our best"

Gills boss says his team will have to give everything to get past a very strong Exeter side in the Cup.

27 November 2020

Gaffer well aware of the threats Exeter have ahead of cup visit.

Steve Evans faced the media ahead of a tricky Emirates FA Cup tie with an in-form Exeter City, who like Gillingham, have aspirations of getting their name into the hat for the third round draw, where the glamour sides lay waiting.

The Gills manager is confident of making the next round but has warned his players that they will need to be on top of their game if they are to earn their passage past the free-scoring Sky Bet League Two team, who boast an impressive unbeaten away record.

Steve addressed his surprise at lifting the ‘Tuesday night curse’ and gave his assessment of their tough FA Cup opponents.

 

Tuesday Hoodoo

“The win against Wimbledon gives us confidence going into the Cup game. I wasn’t aware of the statistic of not being able to win on a Tuesday until after the game. It’s good to end that.

“I can remember arriving at Elland Road and they hadn’t won a home league game for eight months. We soon sorted that one out.

“We have sorted the Tuesday one out, now it is about getting some consistency in performance.”

 

The Cup

“The one thing I know before the FA Cup kicks off tomorrow is that there will be four or five teams in the draw on Monday that people would have said wouldn’t get through, that always happens.

“Leeds in the next round would be tremendous for myself. But we need to just get through and the draw will take care of itself.

“There is pressure to win. The real ownership of this Club is with the people who can’t be in the stadium, the fans. We have to make sure we do our level best that when this vaccine is available to all of us, hopefully it is FA Cup time and we are still in the competition and have Priestfield packed.”

 

Gills team

“Alex MacDonald and Scott Robertson are in contention for the game. Tom O’Connor is not going to be available for the weekend, but he will be training on Monday, so there is an opportunity for him to be involved when we go to Bristol on Wednesday.

“Dominic Samuel is a super player, he can play anywhere across the front. He’s got five or six goals now. I had a chat with him on the training ground yesterday and said to him to get two or three more goals before Christmas. If he does that, then he is up there with the best of them.

“We have to make him chances. He is the type of player that if you make chances than he normally takes them.”

 

Exeter

“We’ve done our homework on Exeter and saw them against Bradford a couple of weeks ago in a 2-2 draw. I listened to both managers afterwards and Exeter should have scored five, six or seven goals. They were totally dominant in the match. Anyone who can put six past Colchester in the week has to be very good. I’ve spoken to the people in Colchester and they said it could have been more.

“We are playing an Exeter side who will be in League One next year. That is the biggest compliment I can give them. I really like this Exeter team. They have three or four players I would sign tomorrow if they were available.

“They pass the ball well, work hard for each other and have belief. It’s a game we will have to be at our best in, if we want to make progress. They will believe that they can come to Gillingham and win tomorrow. Exeter have their own dreams. We have to make sure our dream becomes a reality at five o’clock.”


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