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Gaffer at the Weekend

Steve Evans answers a few questions following the 1-1 draw with Oxford.

26 September 2021

The Gills boss reflects on Saturday's game at the Kassam.

Q: Taking a point from the Kassam isn't something many teams will do this season. We had to dig deep and work hard; how pleased were you with the performance?
A: I was especially pleased after losing such a preventable early goal.
We had spells in the game to win it ourselves and we limited Oxford United to one other real chance.
There is no doubt we should have a penalty late in the game but decisions in large went against us yesterday.
Q: Going behind early is never ideal but, as the first half wore on, we progressively thwarted attacks and mounted a few of our own. Similar to Tuesday in many ways?
A2: Yes it was.
We need to get back to starting games on the front foot.
We grew into the game, and scored when we were well on top of the game.
It was a hard fought point but I cannot help but think we are never going to get a penalty after Charlton in midweek, and yesterday.
Q: You said you expected Oxford to have a lot of the ball in the second half. How did you rate our shape and discipline off the ball?
A: In the main the lads had a great shape without the ball and it only became a little stretched late in the game as we chased a winner ourselves.
Q: Jamie Cumming made one or two excellent stops. He seems to be finding his feet in a Gills jersey?
A: There was much to like in young Jamie’s performance yesterday.
He made one outstanding save but his handling in general was a little untidy at times.
He is an outstanding young goalkeeper and is maturing nicely.
Q: Good to see John Akinde back on the pitch. Certainly gives you an extra forward option?
A: Yes, very much so.
We have not once this season been able to select our strongest team as we have been badly affected by injuries and with such a small squad it causes us problems.
Q: Cambridge is our destination on Tuesday. What type of game are you expecting from them?
A: A real tough game.
Cambridge are an excellent team and that was demonstrated with a 2-1 win away at Portsmouth last week.
We will work on the training ground to prepare for another tough game in EFL 1.

There were six draws in L1 yesterday and only an injury time soft penalty prevented it from being seven, so that shows clearly how close and tough this league is.

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