Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans delivers his usual Sunday round-up.

Q: Although disappointed to lose on Saturday, and it's not something you enjoy, do young players potentially learn more from defeats than they do with wins?


A1: It is not just young players who learn more from defeat, it is everyone.

As I say before every match we play, it is about what we do that I will judge and yesterday we fell way short of the standards expected.

Goals and referee decisions change games every week and yesterday was no exception. How we are not given a penalty for a clear foul on Dominic Samuel is baffling, very very strange and it came at the only time in the match we were dominant.


Q: They scored shortly after the break which gave us a real mountain to climb. It seemed to be one of those afternoons where everything we tried didn't quite come off?


A2: It was an afternoon in which we did not do our jobs good enough and we must learn very quickly.

We must also trust in the referee to get the big decisions right, a game changer!


Q: You said earlier in the week that we will lose games at various stages. When your teams do suffer defeat, what do you look for in your squad?


A3: Football is all about talent, effort, determination and character. These young players of ours are learning all the time and, as I said, it’s how we react now.


Q: Kyle Dempsey was back in the team. How did you assess his performance?


A4: Kyle was the best player on the pitch for us and possibly both sides until he took a late knock.

He is a huge talent and his top credentials are his willingness to work hard, listen and his sheer class at this level.


Q: Our next game is on Tuesday night at home to Portsmouth. Are you planning to make changes or will you ask the same XI to put in a reaction?


A5: We will look at the lads in training over the next two days and analyse our opponents before we pick the team.

Portsmouth are a class outfit with an experienced Manager so it’s a huge task against one of League 1’s big clubs.


Q: Is it better in such circumstances to have such a tough game almost immediately or would you rather have time at the training ground?


A6: You always want to play quickly after a day like yesterday. We are involved against very decent opponents so I know we must be at our best to get anything from the game.

The incentive for a win is a place in the top group which would be a brilliant achievement for these young players we have.


Q: The start to the season has been positive. How important is it as a manager to focus the minds of your players on the positives rather than just one result?


A7: The lads know it’s all about playing and being measured against the standards they as individuals set.

In football you need to be positive but also very honest, these young players want that and it is what we do.

These youngsters are learning every day, it’s most important we learn from yesterday and implement a plan to improve.