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Gillingham manager Steve Evans makes apology to fans after first-half collapse against Oxford

Gillingham boss Steve Evans apologised to the fans after Saturday’s ‘unacceptable’ first-half display.

The Gills shipped three goals against Oxford United during a tough opening half and it could have been more.

Brandon Hanlan does battle against Oxford Picture: @kentproimages
Brandon Hanlan does battle against Oxford Picture: @kentproimages

He said: “When you are 3-0 down at half-time, firstly I apologise, I don’t know if half of them were on their way back to Kent at half-time.

“I think they would have seen a difference second half, just in terms of competing and shape, and looking more like a team.

“They clapped the players when I went over at the end to applaud them. They are brilliant and apologies to them, for the first half, it was an unacceptable performance.

“We got away lightly at three (first half) and they were probably a bit lucky we drew the second half and didn’t win it, but there we go.

“But what do you do? You go back on the training ground and work hard. The group delivered the objective put to them second half, but we should be doing that over 95 (minutes), not over 45.”

Evans admits he hadn’t witnessed a display like that for some time.

He said: “It was the worst half my team has played for a long, long time. You have that as a manager.

“What I did say to them at the end, is that we asked for character at half-time. We asked them not to lose the second half, we asked them to have some pride in their own individual performances and pride in playing for the shirt.

“We stifled them more than we were creative, but we should have scored after five minutes of the second half. It looks like an open goal and a tap-in, then Mark Marshall puts one across the box, it’s all ifs and buts.

“You don’t forget bad days, you remember them more than the good ones and I’ve had a lot of success.

“They looked much better than us first half in every area and we congratulate Karl (Robinson, the Oxford manager). He has an excellent side, they will be up there for sure and we will learn from it as best we can.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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