Steve Evans delighted with Gillingham performance following coronavirus outbreak



Posted Sunday, January 02, 2022 by PA

Steve Evans delighted with Gillingham performance following coronavirus outbreak

Gillingham manager Steve Evans was delighted with how his team performed during their goalless draw at MK Dons despite a lack of preparation time.

The third-from-bottom Gills had not played for three weeks prior to their trip to Stadium MK and had little time at the training ground since regrouping, following a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Nevertheless, they defended doggedly and threatened sporadically on the break in what was a dour contest, as they ended a run of six-straight defeats in all competitions to move within four points of safety.

Evans said: “We had seven of that starting team back after Covid and I was looking at regulations whether they could actually play because some had breathing difficulties.

“We had three players on that pitch who trained for an hour yesterday and we had to pull the session short in case they went down again.

“I think for them to go out and work as hard as that, against what I think is an outstanding team.

“Our shape was good – we worked all week tactically on it on the big screen with the boys because we couldn’t have them in the training ground because some of them were still struggling, but they carried it out to a tee.

“The biggest compliment I can give our performance, in terms of how resolute we were, is that Jamie Cumming hasn’t had to make a save.”

Scott Twine sent a shot wide in the dying stages of the first half for MK Dons before Gillingham almost snatched the lead after 58 minutes when Robbie McKenzie struck into the side netting.

The visitors defended deeper as the match wore on, with the Dons forced to shoot from long range – Matt O’Riley firing off target from Twine’s lay-off being such an example.

Twine produced the hosts’ only threatening effort on target in the 89th minute when his 30-yard strike stung the palms of Cumming.

MK Dons boss Liam Manning said: “I was really pleased with some of the aspects that we worked on a lot recently, in terms of back third, mid-third, our build-up and trying to have large control in the game.

“We did that but as everybody knows, the last bit that was lacking was the final third.

“It was the final bit – whether it was decision or execution – that wasn’t quite there and I think it’s important that we don’t jump on the lads straight away.

“We’ve scored so many goals this season and credit to them.

“They’ve done that week in, week out where they’ve provided so much entertainment and been so clinical at times.

“It’s difficult to do it every single week, so it’s important we don’t get over-emotional and we don’t jump on their backs.”

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