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Gaffer | "A win would be best result of the season"

Gills boss Steve Evans says beating Blackpool on Easter Monday would be the best result of the campaign so far.

3 April 2021

The Gills manager has been previewing Monday's trip to in-form Blackpool.

“A win would be the best result of the season,” said Steve Evans ahead of Gillingham’s trip to Blackpool on bank holiday Monday.

Rather like one of the rollercoasters in the seaside city, the Gills manager is predicting lots of twists and turns before the Sky Bet League One reaches its conclusion, and he is hoping his in-form Gillingham team can again reach the heights they have been setting themselves of late.

Blackpool, widely tipped for promotion, are currently enjoying a 12 game unbeaten run stretching back to early February, and a win over Swindon on Good Friday saw them displace Gillingham and move back into the play-off spots with plenty of games to spare over their rivals.

The Gills boss, speaking with the local press on Zoom before the fixture, said he is expecting a difficult match: “We don’t kid ourselves for a minute, they are a dangerous opponent and we will need to be focused. It will be a tough afternoon, but one we are looking forward to.

“They have a very talented group. Neil (Critchley) has had a few injuries recently but they have a 25-or-26-man squad up there and 22 players who could play in the first 11.

“Blackpool are in terrific form and I wasn’t surprised when they recently beat Peterborough as comfortably as they did (3-1 at Bloomfield Road) and it gives you an indication of how difficult our task is. It’s a big ask to go to the North West, but we will go there and work as hard as we possibly can, as a manager I can ask for no more.

“Their talisman is a Jerry Yates; I gave him his football league debut back in my days at Rotherham. He is having a wonderful career and is destined to go on to play higher. It’s not just a one-man team though, they have pace and power all over. They can play a number of systems, are very good at working the ball through the lines, and they take their chances.

“It’s like the most poisonous snake in the grass, we can see it, but wherever you might move there could be a problem.”

Evans, however, has a few lethal options of his own, none more so than deadly-marksman Vadaine Oliver, who has fired in nine goals in his last 12 games.

The Gills manager said: “Vadaine has been brilliant since the day he has walked in. He is not only a big lad but he is also a big character; he’s not a shy boy. He is one of the extroverts in the group.

“The boys love that he is being successful and that tells you how loved he is within the group. He is very close to getting 20 goals for Gillingham in League One, and there aren’t many who can do that. He has a big part to play, not only for the season ahead, and the next, but hopefully thereafter.”

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