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Gaffer excited ahead of England v Scotland clash

Gills boss Steve Evans says he is eagerly awaiting Friday's European Championship clash between England and Scotland.

17 June 2021

The Gillingham manager is looking forward to Scotland's trip to Wembley.

Steve Evans’ household will be much the same as any other at 8pm on Friday night: emotions will be high, pride will be at stake, and the Euro 2020 England v Scotland clash will be on the telly.

Unfortunately for the Gillingham manager, however, he will be outnumbered in his own living room. His loyal family will turn on him to roar on the Three Lions against his beloved Scotland team, in what is the oldest official international fixture in the world.

The two sides first met all the way back on the 30th November, 1872. A repeat of the 0-0 scoreline from that historic day could be the perfect result for the manager’s family, at least in the sense of keeping the peace!

Evans, who has seen his fair share of ups and downs as a loyal member of the Tartan Army, said: “I don’t hide it, I’m a proud Scotsman and I hope we win at Wembley on Friday. I’m sure people all around the world will be watching the game, it’s a special occasion when England play Scotland.

“There are moments from England and Scotland games that stand out in my memory. I can still remember being a young man and watching supporters run onto the pitch at Wembley. I can remember going down Wembley Way as a wee boy with my family and watching people walk past me with bits of the goalpost, bits of the net and bits of the turf. I think we took Wembley home that day.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Scotland play on Friday, it’s been over 20 years since Craig Brown took us to a major championship. He was my old Gaffer and someone I was speaking to only yesterday.

“I’ve spent more time in my life in England than I have in Scotland and my wife and children are England supporters. I’ll be alone on Friday watching it because the rest of my family will be wanting England to win. They will be sitting there with their England shirts on expecting them to win. I’ll be there, half-glancing at the telly, pretending I’m not interested, but every time we go over the half-way line I’ll be on the edge of my chair.”

Evans, who has texted his best wishes to Gareth Southgate, has a lot of respect for the young England side and one player that stood out for him in their opening game, a well-organized 1-0 victory over Croatia, was 25-year-old midfielder Kalvin Phillips. The nation also found out what Leeds fans have known all along about their own ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’, the kid is a bit special.

Evans said: “I was really pleased to see young Kalvin Phillips do what he did. I was there at Leeds when he was a kid and helped him a little on his way, but he is going on to where no one thought he would get to. His performance for England was so special. I was very proud of him; he was the best player in an England shirt.

“This time for Scotland, more than any other time, we have a lot of players playing in the Premier League, some very gifted players. Young Andy Robertson is a kid I know very well, he grew up not too far from me. I think my brother played a part in his development back in his Queen’s Park days. He is a special lad and is our captain.

“We are excited by it, but we also understand how tough it is going to be. Like anyone from Scotland, I desperately want us to do well.

“England and Scotland games are always competitive. Game on Friday. Come on Scotland!”

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