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Gaffer | "We are expecting a real tough game"

Gills boss knows what to expect ahead of Fleetwood visit.

23 October 2020

Fleetwood will be a test for young Gills side, says Gaffer.

Gills manager Steve Evans is relishing the chance to test his young side against Joey Barton’s Fleetwood. Even though his team lack experience he believes that if they play to their strengths they have a great opportunity to push themselves back up the table.

Evans said ahead of the Sky Bet League One fixture against the Cod Army: “It is kids against experience. They have some wonderful experienced players, they are full of class players but it doesn’t give them a right to come and beat us. If you want to take something away from Priestfield, you have to earn it.

“I am expecting good players to come off the team coach and a manager that takes criticism from a lot of quarters. I don’t profess to know the guy very well but I know him enough to know he will manage at a much higher level than League One. They have some good players and they are a real attacking force. We have to be prepared and ready.

“We are expecting a real tough game, a team in my opinion who have taken league leaders Hull apart in the second half, I would think our hardest game of the season. They have a plethora of options and have big resources which get spent well.

“Hopefully it will be a good game and we will get the three points.”

Evans is keen to cut out the mistakes which have cost his team in two fixtures last week, losing 2-0 to both MK Dons and Portsmouth. However, despite the strength of rival teams in the league, Evans is confident his players have the raw talent to ruffle some feathers.

"If you make errors you get punished. This is as tough as League One has been since Leeds United were in it. This is the toughest start to a league campaign I've had for a while.

“We need to speak with our players honestly. When you see in your eyes, as the head coach, where the mistakes are you have to plan how to work on the training ground to make sure they don’t happen again.”

Evans insists that what his youthful side lack in experience they make up for in hunger and enthusiasm and he is enjoying the responsibility of guiding them on to bright futures.

"I've never worked with a group as young as this before; it's about teaching, learning and understanding. We then see if they can educate themselves… because ultimately in football it is about educating yourself.

“Our players are learning their trade and some of them will go on to play many games at a really high level. 

“We don’t fear anyone but we have to respect everyone and know what they are capable of. If we win against Fleetwood, we will be in the top seven or eight, it’s incredible. I’ve got every confidence that if my team play well tomorrow then we will win the game.”

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