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Gillingham boss Steve Evans likes the EFL's proposal that the season could be completed in 56 days, including the play-offs

The Football League season could be concluded over a 56-day period.

In a letter sent to clubs, EFL chairman Rick Parry says they have a plan in place to finish the 2019/20 campaign.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans likes the EFL proposal which has been send to league clubs
Gillingham manager Steve Evans likes the EFL proposal which has been send to league clubs

Everything remains dependent on the coronavirus crisis - and the EFL have already said they won’t return until it is safe to do so - but Gills manager Steve Evans likes the idea.

He’s all for it, saying: “I think the one thing all the managers and chairman have called for is a realistic return to football and I think that is a realistic objective.

“It would be behind closed doors initially, depending on what is happening in the rest of the country, and we can get the leagues completed.

“We would be delighted with it if that’s the story.

“We would get the play-offs completed. The teams that have been successful might not be playing infront of thousands of people, but they can enjoy their rewards and if you deserve to be relegated, then you go down, I have no sympathy, it is just the way it is.

“We can then get re-focused and ready for what will be a new season and a real massive season for Gillingham."

The eight-week period would include time for the play-offs to take place - something the Gills are in the hunt for.

The letter states that it is the EFL’s assumption that games would be played behind closed doors but that they are “absolutely mindful of the need to try and mitigate the cost of this to clubs as best we can.”

Clubs are also being advised not to start training again until the middle of May.

“I think it is wonderful there is a plan,” Evans said.

“It is three games a week, but that suits us, we are in the fight catching up, I am not objecting to it, I am all for it.

“We have got nine games left and if we pull two points back in the first three games, that is all it is, we are then six points behind with six to go, bring it on!”

Coventry City have a five point gap at the top but from second placed Rotherham to the Gills, in 11th, there are just 11 points separating the teams.

Evans said: “There are a lot of managers talking about getting automatic, Karl Robinson (Oxford United), Paul Warne (Rotherham United), Darren Ferguson (Peterborough United) is saying the same, I have to advise these managers there are only two places.

“For me, Coventry, unless the wheels come off, then they are going to be going. They are in fine form with some fine players and they have a very level approach to what they are doing.

“There are four or five clubs saying they are going to go up, that will be interesting. We have to play two or three of them and I am happy about that. We have to play them because we have to close the gap.”

Gillingham players, like the rest in football, are training on their own at home. They remain fit though and ready to play.

Evans believes they will need a week or two to get back to match sharpness before getting the season complete.

He said “They won’t have lost their fitness, it is just about the sharpness and that will come over two weeks and then we will be ready to play.

“If you are Mark Robins (Coventry City manager) or Paul Warne or Karl Robinson, you would be really pleased with that break because you have got all of your squad back fit haven’t you? Unless it is a long term injury they are all back fit and fresh.

“What I would say though is at the start of the season when they were fit and fresh some of them weren’t performing that well.”

Evans conducted the first of three Zoom sessions with fans on Wednesday night, which went well.

He said: “It was nice to speak to level people. They asked a few pertinent questions but all the people on that forum were Gills and it was nice.”

Evans has spoken this week about his frustration at people flouting the social distancing rules. A hot Easter weekend could lead to a wave of people leaving their homes.

“I hope it rains, that it hammers down!” said the Gills boss.

“It won’t be will it, it will be nice, but I want it to change, I want the storms to come in and make every person stay in the house. Simple.”

More on the Gills;

Loan duo might not be back

Gills boss donates to NHS

League 1 focus: The managers


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