Gills will need to impose own game on Ipswich, says Steve Evans.
Steve Evans is looking forward to Saturday’s Sky Bet League One fixture with Ipswich and believes his Gillingham team are capable of taking maximum points, but only if they are at their very best.
The visitors will arrive at MEMS Priestfield Stadium under new leadership and Evans says they are in capable hands with former Wigan boss Paul Cook at the helm.
Cook will step into the dugout for his first game in charge of the Tractor Boys and the ambitious manager has already gone on record with his aim to achieve promotion to the Championship this year.
Before the clash, Evans spoke with the local media via Zoom to discuss Tuesday’s win over MK Dons, his hopes for the season and how loud it may get on the touchline this weekend when he faces his pal, Paul Cook.
Winning a five-goal thriller on Tuesday against MK Dons
“We worked on two strategies; one gave them more time on the ball and the other was more counter attacking. After five or six minutes, five hundred passes and being a goal down we realised the strategy wasn’t the right one; we went to plan B. We have always told our players to be prepared to change.
“It was a great winner from Connor and a good performance against a team that have 60 or 70 percent position every game they play. We dealt with them and got a good three points.”
The play-offs are still there
“We have to cut out individual errors. We have to work hard on the training ground. We have to work hard on our concentration and focus defensively. We went to Fratton Park recently and away to Charlton and there were no concerns defensively. We aim to defend as a team from the front and attack as a team from the back. We have left ourselves with a lot to do but a good result at the weekend would help massively.”
Ipswich on Saturday
“I know Cookie (Paul Cook) well, we have had many, many battles. I think he will bring real enthusiasm and knowledge to a talented group of players. He was the obvious choice to go to Ipswich; they have the right guy in charge. They will be fighting for the top two; he is a game-changer. He is a really good manager for this level and he knows how to take a club up.
“It will be a tough afternoon but we are in good form and we will fight for each other. We will use a different strategy to what we used against MK Dons and Portsmouth. We will have a shape, an identity and a style and we will need to impose our game on Ipswich.
“It will be a big challenge. If we are at our very best, can we win? Absolutely. One million percent. If we drop below our best then we will get beat.”
A vocal touchline
“Nothing will change about myself and Paul shouting at our players and appealing decisions. Paul Cook will shout at his players and instruct his players and shout for decisions. But there is a mutual respect and win, lose or draw, socially distanced of course, we will be having a beer afterwards. We will both be offering each other our best wishes for the rest of the season.”