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Gaffer | "In the second half we didn't get back on the front foot"

Gills boss frustrated to leave Shrewsbury empty handed.

31 August 2021

Gaffer delighted with first half showing at Montgomery Waters Meadow, but admitted second half was below standards set.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans said he was disappointed to leave Shrewsbury without any points after a strong first half showing on Saturday.

The Gills had taken the lead through Jack Tucker, but two second-half goals ensured all three points for the hosts.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Gills manager, who was delighted with how his side performed in the opening 45. However, he admits that they never got back to that level following the break.

He said: “The first half was very good. In terms of the first 35 to 40 minutes, it was the same as Plymouth, very good.

“We missed some good chances, and there was some good goalkeeping with a couple of saves. Then there were a couple of blocks as well.

“Then in the second half, we never got back on the front foot.”

Evans tried a new tactical approach at the Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium by playing a 5-3-2, and he was pleased with how his midfield adapted.

He added: "I thought our midfield was really strong in the first half. Phillips, Adshead and Dempsey were very good. I thought they were superb.”

Tucker scored his first goal of the season as his powerful header was too hot for Marko Marosi to keep out of the net.

The young academy graduate is someone that has started the season brightly and continues to improve. He reminds the Gills boss of another young central defender that he once managed.

“He’s getting better every week," the Gaffer added: "We compare him to Ben White, who we had on-loan at Peterborough. He’s that kind of level. He’s a top top lad and player, and Jack Tucker has all of that.”

It was another frustrating day on the injury front as Ryan Jackson was forced off just before half-time with a hamstring problem. Although the Gills now have two weeks off due to the Charlton game being postponed due to international call-ups, it was a welcome break for Evans, who admits that it will be a crucial time for everyone to get fit.

“We were crying out to go two weeks without league games, and we were pleased when Charlton was called off. We’ve got some very good players here, and we need to get some a little fitter, and others fit.

“We’ll be on the training ground, and we need players to get fit now. We will know where Ryan [Jackson] will be in terms of his injury, and it will allow Alex MacDonald and John Akinde to get near being fitter.”


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