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Gaffer | "Teams will have to work hard to beat us"

Gills boss says teams will have to be on good form to beat his side if they keep performing at current levels.

16 October 2020

Gaffer speaks to the media ahead of MK Dons trip.

Steve Evans has warned his Gills players not to be fooled by MK Dons’ league position and believes his side will again need to be at their best on Saturday.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Sky Bet League One away fixture he said: “MK Dons are just full of talent; they are a really good side. They’ll comfortably be in the top half of the table. It will be tough. I watched their game against Ipswich and I watched 70 minutes of their away game at Pompey.

"They drew against Ipswich but they should have beaten them. You look at the Portsmouth game and Portsmouth were a lucky side, they should have been comfortably beat.

“MK Dons are a good side with good players. It’s a great place to go and play football. They have a fantastic stadium; we have nothing but respect for the manager and players.

“We know if we go forward, we can score a goal. We know Vadaine, Akinde, Graham, Samuel and Coyle are all goalscorers. We know if we get the service right and we defend properly then we have a chance of winning football matches.”

Gills came under heavy pressure last weekend from a capable Oxford United side but Evans was pleased with his team’s resilience. Gills took their chances and ran out 3-1 winners, and the manager once again publicly praised his young players.

“This year we have a better squad,” he said. ”We have better players. We have a lot of youth which means we have a lot of inexperience, so that has to be managed. They are a motivated group.

“The one person in football and the Premier League I really love, respect and listen to is Sean Dyche (Burnley’s manager). I’ve come across Sean many times in the Championship. I remember coming up against him with Leeds. We played them off the park for 89 minutes but unluckily they went ahead in the first minute. I remember Sean said to me in the office, ‘We found a way to win.’ That’s what you have to do in football. That’s what we did against Oxford.

“We’re going to lose games… we know we are going to lose games. But you are going to have to work your hardest to beat us. There’s a chemistry in the dressing room that works. Every day in the dressing room you hear the laughter, you hear the screams and you hear the banter.

“We have to get them to the stage where they really, really enjoy coming to work and I think we’ve done that. It gives us more of a chance of winning.”

An impressive four match unbeaten run, consisting of three wins and a draw, has propelled Gills to fourth in the table. Evans, who has previously expressed his desire to make locals proud during this difficult time, says he has been warmed by the feedback when meeting supporters in public and reiterated his desire to see them back at MEMS Priestfield Stadium sooner rather than later.

“I think Gills fans are proud,” he said. “They can’t show it collectively because they are not in the stadium, but I’m in and around the town every day. The individuals that matter tell me they are proud of what the team is achieving.  They are pleased to see the likes of Jack Tucker, who is a local boy, doing well. I think they are really proud that we’ve gone young, we’ve got meaner and we are hungry.”

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