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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans reflects on Saturday's defeat to Plymouth.

3 January 2021

Gills boss Steve Evans answers a few questions following Saturday's game at Home Park.

Q: Saturday's defeat must have been tough to take, but did our second half performance at Plymouth give you reasons to be positive?
A1: The second half performance was outstanding and so much like our win at Rochdale.
The quality of our football was superb and it is so frustrating to see the quality of chances getting missed.
We will take the hurt from a long trip back and channel it into a good week on the training ground.
Q: We controlled possession in the second half, sent countless good deliveries into the box. If we do this consistently in future games we certainly have the forward players to take advantage?
A2: Yes we do but we must demonstrate that more regularly.
We must have had over 30 entries into their penalty area in that second half alone but that is not enough if you do not take advantage of it.
Q: Jordan Graham had a big impact and was a constant threat. The standard of delivery from him and Tommy was excellent?
A3: The quality was outstanding and it is right to be highlighted.
Jordan was unplayable and it’s great to have the kid back.
Tommy is improving more each week, just like he did last season, and that is a great sign going forward.
Q: What was the standout message to the squad following the full time whistle?
A4: The lads were really disappointed but they knew they had played very well and laid siege to the goal of a good Plymouth Argyle team.
Football is about winning and yesterday hurt all of us as it is one win that got away!
Q: The transfer window is opening; several clubs will be looking to do business. In an ideal world, how many bodies would you like to bring in?
A5: I have already made my decisions in relationship to our loan players but each of them must hear it from me first, stopping here for the second half of the season or going back to their parent clubs.
We have such a small squad as it is so we will need to be bringing new players in but it cannot just be players for the sake of it.
We could sign hundreds of players today but it is so important that we add some quality to the group so signing players just to add to the limited numbers we have is not an option.
Q: It's Burton next at home. How important is it to get back to winning ways in order to keep in touch with the top six?
A6: We are six points from the playoffs with over half a season to play.
For such a small squad, limited with nasty long term injuries to key players, the lads have done great.
It is the teams who perform in the second half of the season who earn the rewards and we have everything to play for.
We start that by hosting Burton Albion next Saturday and we need to be ready for a team with a new manager.
Q: You said after the game yesterday that Dominic Samuel could be out for the rest of the season. How close is Stuart O'Keefe to returning?
A7: Stuart for me will start training next week but he has been out a long time so let us not put any pressure on the lad.
He has been a huge miss but he is ahead of schedule so that is the bonus.
Q: What's the plan for the week ahead? Is it good knowing you don't have a midweek fixture so more time can be spent on the training ground?
A8: We have done lots of travelling in recent times but this week we get the opportunity to be fresh on the training ground and that is essential.
The boys know we have so much more to achieve, and I believe in them.

May I finally say I want to wish all the Gills fans a healthy, happy and prosperous 2021 - Happy New Year!

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