Big points needed soon, says Steve Evans.
Steve Evans never takes an opponent lightly, especially when they are sitting perilously on the league’s relegation trapdoor.
With that in mind, the Gills manager has warned his men to be on their game when they face Swindon Town on Saturday in Sky Bet League One. The Robins might currently be nesting third from bottom but they are likely to prove a different animal in their relegation dogfight.
Speaking with local media via Zoom, Evans said ahead of the game: “They are dangerous. The teams at the bottom end give us more headaches then the teams at the top end, that is a credit to sides fighting for their survival. I’ve beaten John Sherdian’s teams many times and he has beaten mine many times. He’s a true football man and very knowledgeable.
“We are five points off the top six and if we are ever going to make our move, then we have to make it now. We have to be within six points or less of those play-offs by the time single figure games come. That means we need some points over the next three matches, it’s that simple.
“The only injury issue we have is Ryan Jackson. He will have a fitness test ahead of us travelling. We will see how he is, but if he is fit, he will travel.
"We will not be taking a draw and if we are drawing in the late stages, we'll be making changes in attacking areas. It's about winning games."
Evans fully believes his players are capable of making that late push up the table, but with resources limited and in the most testing of seasons, he is proud of the team’s endeavours. He was asked if many would consider the 2020/21 campaign as the most difficult from a managerial perspective.
He said: “I think so, because of the pandemic we had no training facilities, due to contaminated soil [at Beechings] we have had five training grounds this year. We turned up for pre-season with six players. We have had no supporters, and our supporters make one hell of a difference. It’s been really difficult because of the pandemic and the lack of resources, which has hit us more than the big boys.
“We are getting on with it, and we are not complaining about it.
“Our chairman has never missed a payday and never put the Club in financial trouble. That must be at the front of everyone’s mind in a pandemic year. Worst case scenario is that we are in League One and kicking off a new season with supporters back at Priestfield. That will be nothing short of a stunning achievement by our leader, Paul Scally.”