The Gillingham manager says an upbeat atmosphere is going to be very important ahead of "tough league" in 2021-22.
Gills boss Steve Evans has been speaking about his summer transfer business as the start of pre-season draws near.
The manager knows how he will approach his transfer strategy and has already added a few names to his squad as the coaching team prepare to welcome the players back on Monday. The gaffer admitted that the amount of attention a player receives from other clubs is not how a player should be judged when trying to sign them.
“I know the strategy I’ll have to take with the signings, and thankfully I’ve got a chairman who’s onside with it. We have to find the ones that perhaps everyone is not looking at the way they should be, and that’s what your eyes tell you, nothing else.
“There weren’t many clubs in the market to sign Jordan Graham last year, and there weren’t many clubs in the market to sign Vadaine Oliver. I’m talking about these higher-ranked clubs, and these guys became absolute stars for us.”
As the manager of the football club, Evans realises how important it is to have a positive culture for everyone to work in. He explained how crucial it is to have an upbeat environment.
“Everyone has feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a footballer, medical team, cleaners, and the people that open the ground, we’re all part of one team," he said.
“There’s no I in team, and as soon as someone isn’t part of that team, we have a problem. We try and make our lads feel valued.”
The gaffer is looking forward to completing his squad ahead of the new season, which he has described as the toughest League One ever. Despite his confidence in his side's abilities, he knows that the strength of the division next season should not be taken lightly.
“We will sign a group that will be competitive," he added. "And we’ll have aims to be inside that top ten, but at the same time, this is one year that everyone will be looking over their shoulder to see how many points you’ve got because it’s a really tough league.”
Transfer windows can be long for everyone involved, with all the stress of getting deals over the line and recruiting the right players. However, Evans realises that it is not a sure thing until the players have signed on the dotted line, and stories he has heard confirms that.
“I’m a realist until the actual contract is signed. Sometimes it doesn’t happen for various reasons. I’ve heard about players in the last week going for medicals at other clubs, and having medicals, then being in the building to sign, and sneaking out the back door to someone else. That’s the dark side of football, and we’re not going to get involved in that.”