Boss proud of his men as Gills come from behind to win at the DW Stadium.
Steve Evans said he was incredibly proud of his players following Saturday’s 3-2 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium.
Jordan Graham scored twice in the first half, with Trae Coyle adding a third after the interval to put the visitors in the driving seat and, although Wigan got one back, the Gills defended incredibly well to see out the game and clinch their first league victory of the campaign.
The boss, who could only name six substitutes, heaped praise on his team who put in an excellent performance.
He said: “It was certainly entertaining wasn’t it? To come here [and win] with such a young side against the experience John Sheridan is able to call upon at Wigan. There is still an excellent set of players here.
“We knew we didn’t perform last week, we had a lot of work to do at the training ground. We should go away here very comfortable winners but we will take three points no matter how they come because the game is about winning, whether there are spectators in the ground or not.
“A couple of things upset me; I think there is a goal direct from a corner and I don’t know why their defender stays on the pitch [for a second half challenge on John Akinde]. It’s a strange decision, but we won’t focus on that. Apart from that I think the referee had a good game today.
“After their second goal they are always going to put balls in the box, towards Garner who is a Championship striker and they are going to test you. We told the boys to keep passing and keep playing.
“We got three points on the board, we have a difficult opponent next week so we know that is going to be tough but we’ll come up with a plan and see if we can go and get a result.
“I’m very proud to work with all of them, when you get entrusted by Arsenal with the likes of Trae Coyle… you see him today, he’s 18 years old and it’s a fantastic finish. He’s disappointed he didn’t score another one, we are also entrusted by Mark Robins at Coventry and for a young man like Josh Eccles to play against us on Tuesday and then come in and play like that.
“Young Scott Robertson will go only get better, he’s a terrific talent and I have to look at my two centre-backs because Joe Garner is a tough opponent. Maghoma is getting fitter which makes him better, Tucker is getting more like where he was, but he’s not quite there yet. I am really proud of them, I am proud every day regarding how they come in, work hard and smile.”
Graham, who signed for the Gills permanently in the summer following a brief loan spell at Priestfield earler in the calendar year, netted twice and looked impressive throughout the game with Trae Coyle and Vadaine Oliver equally lively in attack.
The Gaffer revealed he thought it was unikely he would get the winger’s signature, but is delighted to have him on board.
He added: “You have to love Jordan, you have to believe in him and give him the ball. When we signed him we said we would play him in a number of roles. We love the kid and love having him around.
“Jordan is a Championship player playing in League 1, I never doubted it. I have come across him at Wolves when I was at Leeds and Rotherham; he played against us and he was effective and purposeful. You have to tell him straight, I said to the Chairman in the summer that I wanted to go younger, more athletic and more energetic and Jordan was the type of player I meant.
“I didn’t think we had a chance [of signing Jordan], I got in touch and said we would like to get you back. I kept at it, met him and his Dad and, on getting him, we are getting the rewards.
“I’m only glad we are not playing Wolves in the cup because we would hear it all the way back to Kent!
“His goals were tidy, the first was a terrific finish off Oliver. The second one he drives in. Wonderful movement for the third goal; it’s a great ball in from Connor and brilliant vision from Robertson to find Coyle and you see that finish every day in training.”
The manager told reporters why Alex MacDonald had not made the trip.
“Macca wasn’t feeling well after the game on Tuesday and immediately we sent him home and he was isolated and tested,” he said. “He’s negative on that [COVID] so I think he has, what I would describe, as probably a bad cold, so hopefully we will see him back on Monday.
“We love Macca and he’s got a big part to play, but they all have. They will all be hurting if not starting.”
As for recruitment, Steve said talks will take place with a potential new signing on Monday, however this is merely an introductory meet.
He added: “We have a kid coming into the building on Monday for a conversation.
“We have to focus on ourselves; I’d like to bring somebody else in at the top end of the pitch, I think we need to bring someone on the left to provide some balance. If we do that, that would be 20 players.”