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Gillingham manager Steve Evans excited for fans' return to Priestfield

Gillingham boss Steve Evans says he celebrated the announcement of fans returning to stadiums like his team had just scored a last minute winner.

Supporters will be able to watch their teams again in lower tier Covid-19 areas when lockdown ends next week.

The stands have been empty so far this season but that could change in the months ahead
The stands have been empty so far this season but that could change in the months ahead

Medway’s high Covid rates may mean the area, along with the rest of Kent, exits lockdown in tier 3 restrictions - which will mean no fans for the short-term -but with vaccines being produced, Evans sees reason to be cheerful.

Only football teams in tier 1 and 2 will be allowed supporters to attend games, in limited numbers up to 4,000.

Evans said: “When the prime minster was giving us the news about spectators coming back, my wife has only usually seen me jump like that when we’ve scored last minute winners if she is up in the stands, which is not very often.

“We miss the fans. Priestfield is one of the most iconic grounds in League 1. I have been there (as an opposition manager) and got bashed, absolutely battered off that Rainham End and I love them, and we miss them.

“I am listening to people like Sean Dyche (the Burnley manager) saying the same thing, we are really really missing them.

“Let’s get them back but let’s deal with the virus. I am not reckless, I am not silly, we have 25 young men in (the squad) and we have to be careful but we will come through and get this vaccine.”

Evans says it has been tough for him at times too.

He said: “Paul Scally (the chairman) has been incredible with me. He has kept my motivation high and I have needed it at times.

"I am the most positive person in the world but I have been down because there are no fans, it is not the same.”

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