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‘Anything other than promotion for them is a disaster’ - Gills boss Evans cranks up the heat

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:40 27 October 2020

Gillingham boss Steve Evans. Photo: PA

Gillingham boss Steve Evans. Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Gillingham are the visitors to Portman Road tonight. MIKE BACON takes a look at their season so far

Gillingham's Jordan Graham (right) celebrates scoring for the Gills. Photo: PAGillingham's Jordan Graham (right) celebrates scoring for the Gills. Photo: PA

Don’t let recent results fool you

A 2-0 scoreline seems to be a recurring theme with 14th-placed Gillingham so far this season.

The Kent-based club have been involved in no less than five 2-0 results in League One, from the eight games they have played – winning just one of them, losing the other four.

To add more obsession to that 2-0 scoreline, it proved to be the same one when the Blues and the Gills met at Portman Road in the EFL Trophy earlier this month – Ben Folami and Armando Dobra on target for the Blues that night as Town ran out victors.

Indeed it’s currently three 0-2 defeats on the bounce for Gillingham as they head to Portman Road tonight.

Defeat by Fleetwood at home on Saturday followed a home defeat to Portsmouth last Tuesday - incredibly the Gills, haven’t won a home league game on a Tuesday since November 2015.

The Saturday before it was another 0-2 defeat, this time at MK Dons.

Town players celebrate with Ben Folami after his goal to take them 2-0 up.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comTown players celebrate with Ben Folami after his goal to take them 2-0 up. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

So, after a bright start and just one defeat in their first five League One games, the Gills are not on a great run of form.

However, their results perhaps don’t reflect their performances and Town will need to be wary.

Boss Steve Evans said after the Fleetwood defeat on Saturday: “If we take our chances we are three or four up by half-time and the game is over. This is a hard one to take.

“When you dominate games like we did against Fleetwood and the first 15 minutes versus Pompey in midweek you need to take those chances created, it’s essential or you get bitten.”

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Furious Evans

Gills boss Evans was furious that his side’s League One game with Fleetwood even went ahead on Saturday.

Joey Barton’s side won 2-0 in Kent, but Evans felt the game should have been called off given Fleetwood’s last match had been a 1-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley who then had eight players test positive for Covid.

Fleetwood’s travelling squad was not tested ahead of the trip to Kent at the weekend and Evans accused the EFL of a dereliction of duty.

Barton said his side complied with all the protocols in place, but Evans was unhappy with the situation.

“You cannot send them (Fleetwood) from a tier three area without a test and put hotels and everyone on that pitch at risk,” Evans told BBC Radio Kent.

“In my opinion, and the professional medical opinion at the club, there would have been Covid off that team coach today or a probability of it.”

Armando Dobra in action against Gillingham.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comArmando Dobra in action against Gillingham. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

He added: “If any Fleetwood players test positive in the next three or four days, people on the Football League board should resign immediately.”

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Evans on Town

Evans is quite happy to play the underdog at Portman Road tonight. Asked about how he is feeling ahead of the trip to Portman Road, he said: “I am confident we can win at Ipswich but at the same time I recognise just how good a team they are.

“Anything other than promotion for them this season is a disaster, so I know where the pressure is.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert, will be hoping his side can get back to winning ways tonight. Photo; PAIpswich Town manager Paul Lambert, will be hoping his side can get back to winning ways tonight. Photo; PA

“Mind you if they put our dressing room as far away from the pitch as they did in the EFL Trophy fixture, we had best organise a few taxis for the lads!”

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Watch out for Jordan

Jordan Graham has had two loans spells with Ipswich, but is now plying his trade at Priestfield Stadium.

Indeed he is the club’s leading scorer with five goals in all competitions, including four in the league.

During his spells at Town he made six appearances, and it was Paul Lambert who moved him on.

Speaking about letting Graham go, Lambert said: “I just go with my own eye. No ill feeling towards anybody, I’ll pick what I think is right and I’ll always do that.

“Jordan was only a young kid when I was Aston Villa when I was there and he was out injured a lot at Wolves.”


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