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Gillingham wait on injury to Stuart O'Keefe and hope to see more of John Akinde ahead of Cheltenham Town FA Cup tie

It’s not just injuries that are keeping Gillingham players away from the training ground - one was missing because of babysitting issues this week.

Manager Steve Evans revealed that big striker John Akinde had his hands full with domestic duties in the early part of the week but will be hopeful that he can make up the minutes lost in the build-up to their FA Cup game against Cheltenham Town this Saturday.

Gillingham midfielder Stuart O'Keefe is an injury doubt this weekend Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham midfielder Stuart O'Keefe is an injury doubt this weekend Picture: Andy Jones

Evans can’t believe his luck with injuries so far. He’s only got a small squad and at no point this season has he had them all at his disposal.

O’Keefe limped out on Saturday with a hamstring strain and will be given until Friday to see if he’s going to be involved against Cheltenham. Evans certainly won’t be risking him.

“He is as doubtful as doubtful can be,” said the Gills boss, who added: “John Akinde wasn’t in the building for a couple of days because he had babysitting issues and that makes it more difficult, throws another spanner in the works.”

Injury issues will be cast aside on Saturday as Evans focuses on those players he can select.

He said: “We are having different injuries, nothing specific to the training programme that the boys are doing, there is no recurring theme, it is just bad luck. I had a Championship manager watch our game against Accrington and he called up and asked how many black cats had I run over, saying we should have won 5-0.

“On Saturday I will only be 100% focussed on the players we have available, I am not interested in who is sitting in the treatment room, not interested in who is sitting in my office saying, ‘I want to play’. The best place to demonstrate it is on the grass, preferably on match days where our supporters should be saying, ‘why is he not picking him?’

“Managers get together and there is a familiar chat about players coming into the office not playing and when they are sat in your office they are the best players in the world. There has never been a best player in the world sitting on a chair.

“The supporters will see a team out there that will be organised and they will work incredibly hard. John Coleman (the Accrington manager) took the opportunity to ring me this week and said it was the hardest working side against his team this season and that is why we dominated so much at the weekend and they are decent opponents in League 1 as well.”

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