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Manager Steve Evans happy to stick to the budget at Gillingham

Gillingham boss Steve Evans has no issues working with a rigid budget.

He’s had a lot more money to spend at previous clubs and has described the challenge at the Gills as his biggest one yet.

Steve Evans has taken on his biggest challenge yet with the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry
Steve Evans has taken on his biggest challenge yet with the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry

Evans is hoping to transform the club’s fortunes but knows he is working under limitations.

Speaking prior to his midweek EFL Trophy trip to Ipswich, who are at the top end of the League 1 rich list, he said: “I would love to have 23-24 players but we have to run this club to ensure there is

no Bolton or Bury at the end of it.

“I don’t think the chairman gets the recognition of having this club for 20-odd years and there has never been a pay day missed. The way he has to run it is an example of the way it should be.

“You can’t gamble with the club’s future like Bury. Ask Bury fans if they would rather get promoted out of League 2 last season or still be in there.

“We are a club where the chairman rules the budget with a rod of iron and we have to respect it.”

More on the Gills;

Evans was hoping to make a challenge for the play-offs this season, if possible, and at least finish mid-table away from the regular threat of relegation.

He said: “My first objective was to make Gillingham a consistent top-half League 1 team. The last four or five years, looking from a distance, Gillingham were always seen as the team that would be fighting over the last three or four weeks of the season to stay up.

“It is quite a transformation to say that we are trying to consistently be in that top 10 and then possibly have a season which Doncaster had last year, with Grant McCann, an absolute magician of a coach.

“They crept up and bang they were in the play-offs (last season) and they should have beaten Charlton over the two games (in the semi-finals).”

Gillingham were in action at Ipswich in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday but a weakened side lost heavily Picture: @KentProImages
Gillingham were in action at Ipswich in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday but a weakened side lost heavily Picture: @KentProImages

Gillingham have lost points from good positions this season, throwing away two-goal leads against Blackpool and Tranmere. Evans can’t help but imagine ‘what if?’.

Last Saturday, against Southend, they turned a two-goal lead into three points.

He said: “Afterwards I spoke to the players and we had been 2-0 up in those games.

“Some weeks we have been average and maybe inconsistent, but if we add those four points to where we are now, I would suggest we would be top eight or nine.

“This is starting with a completely new group that had to be put together because Gillingham stayed up with 10 days to go last year and we don’t want a repeat.”

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