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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans reflects on the 1-1 draw with Hull at the KCOM.

28 March 2021

The manager delivers his usual Sunday round-up.

Q: After the game yesterday you said you were disappointed not to have taken all three points. Having had chance to reflect, does that remain the case?
A1: The reality is we could have been two goals ahead inside the first ten minutes, and then found ourselves a goal down.
Hull City are an excellent team and they missed a glorious chance to be two goals ahead themselves.
We changed the shape of the team, altered the tactics and our substitution in bringing on Ollie Lee caused them big counter-attack problems.
A point each was fair if you take the whole match into consideration.
Q: Hull's record at home is very good. To have taken a point back to Kent, it must have at least given you a lot of pride and belief going into final eight games?
A2: Our lads have total belief and can play with no nerves. What the boys are delivering is outstanding and they deserve enormous credit.
We need to win games so a point is never enough, but we fight on.
The lads are so fit, they are fresh and embracing the challenges that come along.
Q: Olly Lee came off the bench to net the equalizer. It must be nice having someone of his experience, and ability, to turn to if required?
A3: Ollie is a very talented lad. He has been trying to shake off a slight groin strain and yesterday he made a real impact, not just with his equalising goal, but his willingness to take the ball in tight areas and make things happen for us.
Q: You were forced into a slight reshuffle in defence with Tommy moving to left back and Connor partnering Jack. In general how pleased were you with our defensive display?
A4: Our defensive display was excellent. Hull City have top class players for League 1 so it was always going to be a test, but the lads stood up to it and, for me, emerged the winners.
Q: Is Robbie Cundy likely to be back Wednesday?
A5: We will give Robbie every chance to be available.
The kid has been excellent for us so hopefully the medical staff can get him ready for selection.
Q: You said last week that chances could be at a premium at the KCOM. We took one of our best ones but I guess your head was in your hands when Dom struck the post in stoppage time?
A6: For me a sharp Dominic Samuel scores. In reality the kid is back playing six weeks earlier than scheduled so he deserves enormous credit.
Two weeks from now the kid would have scored. I was very pleased with what he did do when he came onto the pitch.
He is such a good player and immediately you could see a little fear in the Hull City lads.
It wasn’t to be yesterday, but it will be soon for a young man I have an enormous liking for.
Q: It must be good to have Dom back? How close is he to being joined back in the squad by Callum Slattery?
A7: Callum is again recovering ahead of schedule.
We will know much more later this week as he steps up his rehabilitation. He is a player we have missed and him coming back would be brilliant for us.
Q: John and Vadaine have been your main striking options for quite some time. How beneficial will it be for them to see Dom return, both in terms of sharing goal scoring responsibility, and for general competition?
A8: Vadaine and John have been excellent for us but we need more at this stage of the season and nothing helps that more than competition for your starting place in the team.
Playing with huge confidence is the key and all our lads are doing that. More importantly is belief, this group of young men are very capable, let’s all give them our support.
Q: It's Wigan on Wednesday. Their form has picked up recently; what sort of game are you expecting and what is likely to be your main message to the team prior to the fixture?
A9: This is going to be a tough game for sure.
Wigan are in the best form they have delivered this season.
A draw with high flying Ipswich Town yesterday and comfortable wins over Plymouth, MK Dons and Bristol Rovers demonstrates that clearly.
We will need to be at our best to get the result we need to keep this unbelievable season alive and kicking for every Gills fan around.

The work on the training ground and match preparation starts today, we need to be ready!

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