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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans reflects on Saturday's defeat to Exeter in the FA Cup.

29 November 2020


Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans reflects on Saturday's defeat to Exeter in the FA Cup.

29 November 2020

The Gills boss delivers his usual Sunday round-up.

Q: Sadly, no place for us in the FA Cup third round. What was your assessment of Saturday's performance?


A1: The performance for 25 minutes in the first half was wholly unacceptable, individually and collectively, there is the reason we are out of the FA Cup.

We will analyse the team and individual performance levels within it all and take the appropriate decisions thereafter, but also let me give credit to a good Exeter team. We wish them luck in the third round draw.


Q: We started well and seemed to be in control with 20 minutes played. We could easily have been 2-0 up aswell?


A2: We should have been 2 - 0 ahead, and not could have been, but that is the storybook of football.

The FA Cup is a magical competition and yesterday again saw that with results like Chorley beating Peterborough United, Cheltenham beating Crewe, and ourselves, but the reality is we are all out. I will offer no excuses for us and that is why I was delayed post match, the players had to realise it was unacceptable.

I take full responsibility for the performance and result, in simple terms the buck stops with me!

My task now is to get our performances right moving forward, as I’ve always said it’s the results that follow.

Today for me is about analysis and lateral thinking from yesterday and experience tells you it’s not about knee jerk reactions, but simply working on a plan to get ready for a tough match at Bristol Rovers


Q: Are you likely to make changes for Wednesday's game?


A3: We will look carefully at everything which includes me watching Bristol Rovers in action this afternoon.

After yesterday the initial thoughts this Sunday morning are to change most of them but I will think it all through carefully and select a team who I believe can get a positive result at Rovers.


Q: It's another tough match with Bristol Rovers now under a new manager?


A4: Paul Tisdale is a man I know very well and have a super relationship with. We have the greatest respect for each other and it will be an interesting game.

We exchanged messages soon after he was appointed and that manager change alone will make our challenge on Wednesday much more difficult as he will have them very organised and efficient.


Q: Jordan Graham looked to be struggling towards the end of the game. How is he looking?


A5: We won’t know how Jordan is for a few days but it will be what it is.

He, alongside many lads in our team, was poor yesterday. The lad has the highest of standards....

 He is a top player so we hope he is back sooner rather than later.


Q: Will Tom O'Connor, Josh Eccles or Zech Medley come back into contention midweek?


A6: Yes, all three should be available subject to training fully tomorrow and Tuesday.

We have a small squad but a talented one and it’s time for a positive reaction.

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