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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans reflects on Saturday's 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

21 February 2021

The Gills manager answers a few questions following Saturday's win.

Q: What was your assessment of Saturday's performance?
A1: There is no doubt we deserved to win the match.
The first hour was scrappy with both teams fighting for authority but our tactical change helped us win the match. The change of shape, quicker transition of the ball and we then camped in Rovers half. The final score could have been greater but, in fairness, Rovers missed a big chance in the first period.
Q: As you say, the first 60mins was very cagey it seemed with two well drilled sides. It seemed that once we went in front, we were able to control proceedings?
A2: Yes, exactly. When we scored the lads relaxed and took the game to the opposition on what was a difficult pitch, and swirling wind.
Q: John Akinde took his goals well but credit to Tommy and Kyle who did well on both occasions to assist him?
A3: The change in the formation allowed Kyle Dempsey more freedom and he is dangerous when given time. Tommy produced a brilliant pass for our opening goal and another when John got pulled down for the penalty. The big man is looking dangerous at the moment every time he plays, he is working harder and he is getting rewarded.
Q: You made three changes at the break, one forced upon you, and they seemed to have a positive impact?
A4: Yes the changes worked. It was not a reflection on the lads we took off, it was simply changing to a particular team shape given the opposition that won us the game.
Q: Callum Slattery went off with an ankle problem. Is there anything you can tell us regarding the early prognosis and what treatment he may need?
A5: The lad will have a scan tomorrow but his x-ray is all clear so we will wait for further news.
Q: You asked for a positive reaction following Tuesday's game. On the whole, did you get the individual and collective displays you wanted?
A6: We got, as normal, the maximum effort from everyone, but for me we have played much better and lost! The one common aspect is that we win together, lose together and the team spirit is fantastic to witness.
Q: It's AFC Wimbledon away on Tuesday. Back to back wins would certainly put us in the mix?
A7: It is one game at a time and it is always your next game that is the most important.
Wimbledon have good players and they have recently changed Manager which I have no doubt will help them.
We have to focus on ourselves but with Slattery, Oliver and Ogilvie all getting knocks yesterday it looks likely we will have to make a number of changes.
Q: What type of game are you expecting midweek?
A8: A really tough one. They get a lot of notable wins at their new stadium and that is because they have good players.

We will train and prepare as we always do, but we will travel full of confidence.

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