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Gaffer previews Crewe

Steve Evans said his team will need to be smart in their preparation as Crewe visit ME7 in midweek.

25 January 2021

Gills boss wary of what Crewe will offer at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Steve Evans said that his players are working hard on the training ground ahead of Tuesday night’s Sky Bet League One fixture with Crewe after coming back from the brink on Saturday.

A 93rd minute rasping equaliser from the boot of John Akinde earned the Gills a point in their 2-2 draw with Rochdale on Saturday, but the result was tinged with disappointment. Vadaine Oliver’s first-half effort had the Gills 1-0 ahead all the way until the 70th minute when The Dale struck twice in five minutes to turn the game on its head.

Super-sub Akinde’s late intervention sparked jubilant scenes from Gills players in front of a ghostly quiet Rainham End as deflated Dale defenders slumped to the turf. Evans, however, lamented that it was “two points left behind.”

The Gills boss, speaking with the local media ahead of Crewe’s visit, said: “We weren’t at our best against Rochdale and we accept that. A late goal is a good goal if it gets your something but it’s certainly two points dropped. We will take the point and look forward to Tuesday night.

“We will get back on the training ground and work hard to prepare for Crewe.”

A determined Gillingham side triumphed over Crewe towards the end of 2020, but The Railwaymen made it anything but easy at The Alexandra Stadium. The hosts peppered Gillingham’s goal with shots but Gills managed to soak up the pressure before match-winner John Akinde thundered in a header from close range. Evans admits that his management team will need to think up an effective strategy if they want a repeat result.

He said: “The smart teams find a way to deal with Crewe. We need to come up with a game plan to deal with them on Tuesday. They are long unbeaten; a terrific side with brilliant individual players.

“I’ve watched them in closed-door games and pre-season as well. Me and Paul Raynor have studied a lot of footage before we went up there last time we played.

“David Artell is a good young manager; he has been brilliant at Crewe. They keep the ball and pass it well; we will work hard to stop that or it will be a long night for us.

“We have a lot of desire, a lot of commitment and a lot of passion, and a management team who want to fight. We want to represent this football club with the effort that the people of Medway deserve.

“We regroup and get ready for Crewe, if we can beat them it will set us up for two humdingers; Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and Lincoln on the television.”

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