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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans reflects on Saturday's draw with Rochdale.

24 January 2021

The Gills boss answers a few questions after the weekend's game at home to Rochdale.

Q: Naturally we go into every game looking to win but having come within moments of defeat, were you at least satisfied to have something to show from yesterday's performance?
A1: Certainly not! We missed two easy chances at the start of the second half and had we taken one of them we would have taken all the points.
Scoring so late always makes you feel better if you get a point, but it was certainly two points dropped.
Q: For the first 20mins of the second half we seemed to look fairly comfortable. Was it frustrating to see them score twice in a short space of time?
A2: You will always concede goals if players do not do the basics and yesterday we got caught by players simply not matching runners.
We need to learn from that now, it has been too many times this season.
Q: Like last week, we scored just before the break and it was a smart finish from Vadaine?
A3: It was a smart finish from a training ground routine and it is always pleasing when that happens.
Vadaine worked hard yesterday, won an incredible amount of aerial battles and got rewarded with a goal.
Q: Callum Slattery made his home debut. How is he settling in your view?
A4: The lad is a real talent and yesterday he worked really hard, but not as smart as last week at Accrington.
The kid has settled in really well and he needs to continue working hard to adjust to League 1 football, a tough assignment for any young player.
Q: John Akinde came on and scored with seconds left to play. It must be pleasing when you bring a sub on to do that job, and they deliver?
A5: I asked John to go on and principally get us a goal, it was a very smart finish.
The lad also became a real problem for Rochdale and he got us a point.
Q: It's Crewe on Tuesday; they have put some strong results together of late. If we are to keep a play off push alive is it a game we need to win?
A6: Gills reaching the play-offs will not come down to us beating Crewe, but of course a win helps us go in that direction.
Crewe are unbeaten in ten matches and are a really good team so it’s a difficult one for us.
I respect every opponent but to go ten unbeaten takes something special, so we had best improve from yesterday.
Q: You hinted you will make changes for the game. Is Stuart fit enough to start if called upon?
A7: Stuart is very fit but obviously short in match fitness, but he will always come into my thoughts as he is such a good player.

We will review yesterday, train, have a good study of Crewe then pick the team.

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