Gaffer | "It's about the reaction"

Gills back at home for Pompey visit, and the Gaffer wants a performance.

Steve Evans said it was a tough defeat following Saturday's 2-0 loss to MK Dons at the weekend, but he has called on his players to show a positive response against Portsmouth on Tuesday.

The Gills manager was disappointed with a first half penalty decision which went against his team that could have changed the course of the game, but admitted his side were not at their best.

Evans said after the loss: “They passed it and moved it better than we did. Goals always change games, we gave a goal away, we missed two easy chances and we had the clearest penalty ever seen not given. Their manager acknowledged it to me, it was a game-changer, instead of being 1-1 at half time it’s 1-0 and the next goal becomes crucial.

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

“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.”

Gillingham, who sit two points and two places above Portsmouth in the Sky Bet League One table, will be keen to shake off defeat and return to the type of form that saw them go unbeaten in four games.

Evans said: “Portsmouth are a class outfit with an experienced Manager so it’s a huge task against one of League One’s big clubs. We will look at our lads in training and analyse our opponents before we pick the team.

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

“These youngsters are learning every day, it’s most important we learn from yesterday and implement a plan to improve. We will continue to play with those energy levels. We didn’t show them (on Saturday). We need to understand why and we will do that when we review it but we will work hard and let our players know.”

Evans is positive his young side will learn from the weekend’s defeat and has told them the importance of regrouping and returning to the pitch stronger.

“The lads know it’s all about playing and being measured against the standards they as individuals set. You lose a game in the league and it is not fatal five or six games in to the season, you can come back. It is always about the reaction.

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