Published: 06:00, 16 March 2021
Gillingham are looking to producing an eye-catching result tonight at title-chasing Lincoln.
Boss Steve Evans expects a difficult task at Sincil Bank against a side on the up. The Imps are looking for a third promotion in five years and are currently sitting third in League 1.
The Gills have beaten the likes of Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic in recent weeks but Evans knows they will need to be at their very best to claim another unexpected success.
He said: “Lincoln are a superb team and our task will be difficult, but all the pressure is on them.
“We will need to deliver a season's best performance to return to Kent with something to show for our efforts.
“We will prepare as best we can and have a plan to execute, we will have to be SAS like in our execution.”
A ruthless Lincoln beat the Gills 3-0 at the start of February.
Evans said: “We know more about Lincoln than we did know and bar two or three players it will principally be the same side and system that Michael [Appleton, the Lincoln manager] deploys but we have to find a way and we will prepare for that.
“We will have to find a way to combat what they are all about.
“They are a top side, it will make interesting reading if we can bring back something from Sincil Bank.
“We are then set up for two humdingers against Doncaster and Hull. We’re competing with clubs who spend four times what we spend on our team, we are competing with them to try and get into their little group.”
The Gills - four points off the play-off places - will end a run of games on the road with the trip to Lincoln. They have faced matches at Fleetwood and Swindon in their previous two but Evans has been pleased to see how fit his side have been.
He’s relied on just a handful of players, naming the same XI for five games running.
“It is credit to the players, Paul Raynor [the assistant manager] and the staff,” said the manager.
“They have 25 players and supporters will know what we’ve got, we have got 15-16 players.
“The boys have showed they are so fit, full of running and credit to James Russell the fitness coach and Rayns, they have got the boys incredibly fit and they are running over walls for us.”
Loan midfielder James Morton is back at Bristol City receiving treatment following a knock while another loanee Callum Slattery is also out injured. Defender Christian Maghoma has a bruised achilles.
It’s meant Evans included young midfielder Henry Woods in the squad on Saturday and youth player Harvey Lintott as the spare man.