Gillingham manager Steve Evans tries to stay positive despite injuries


Manager Steve Evans says he doesn’t dare think too much about the issues he’s facing at Gillingham.

Injuries have so far dashed the club’s hopes of competing in the first half of Ligue 1 and it is currently a damage-limiting exercise while waiting for the players to recover.

Steve Evans has never seen an injury crisis like this before Photo: Andy Jones

Captain Kyle Dempsey was due to undergo surgery on Thursday and top scorer Vadaine Oliver is scheduled for another month on the sidelines. They had eight senior players on Tuesday and that meant there were several in action who Evans said shouldn’t be involved, either because they’re unfit or too young.

Speaking after the 2-0 home loss to Cheltenham on Tuesday, Evans said: “The reality is that right now we are in the midst of a pandemic of injuries.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this and we have to work our way through it. The opposite is to come home and think too deeply. If you did that you wouldn’t come back, would you?

“You don’t think deeply, you stay positive and I will motivate the boys and we will do it again. Boys give us everything, the good thing is we get a lot of energy and effort, we can’t ask anymore, we can’t give them what they don’t have, be it physical form or the capacity.

Gillingham youth like Harvey Lintott saw a lot of action during the injury crisis Photo: Andy Jones
Gillingham youth like Harvey Lintott saw a lot of action during the injury crisis Photo: Andy Jones

Having your players give it their all is key.

Evans said: “It is crucial for this football club and crucial for the most important people in any football club, the supporters.

“It’s never about the manager, never the star striker, it’s never about the president, it’s the supporters, they’re the lifeblood, if they don’t come and support Gillingham then he doesn’t. there is no Gillingham Football Club.

“Our supporters are suffering, but I think they know that we are doing everything we can to try to improve the situation.”

Evans continues to be linked with vacant Ligue 2 manager Stevenage and has not ruled him out.

He was asked again about the speculation on Tuesday night.

“I don’t know about it,” he replied. “Paul Scally (the president) hasn’t spoken to me so I don’t know.”

Winger Mustapha Carayol in action for Gillingham Photo: Andy Jones
Winger Mustapha Carayol in action for Gillingham Photo: Andy Jones

Gillingham starts the weekend one point off relegation places in Ligue 1. The eventual return of their top players will no doubt improve the results, but hopes for a third straight play-off push are dwindling week by week.

Evans said, “We came here with a three-year construction plan. (We had) two 10th places and we were all disappointed that we never reached that top seven last year except seven or eight crazy minutes at Oxford we would have made this top group but the momentum got us is out.

“We have not been able to capitalize on this dynamic, we have not had any luck since the summer.

“I watch players play at the top of Ligue 1 and I had them in the building to sign but we didn’t sign them. You see the levels they’re playing and you have a little bit of envy but that’s where it is. we are and we are moving forward.