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Manager Steve Evans thinks Gillingham are good enough to win the play-offs in League 1

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Gillingham are making a late bid for the play-offs and if they get there manager Steve Evans is confident they will win them.

Evans knows his men are punching above their weight after moving up to eighth in the League 1 table on Saturday, following a 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers, still just two points adrift of the top six.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans confident of play-off success - if they can get there
Gillingham manager Steve Evans confident of play-off success - if they can get there

The Gills are in good form at the business end of the season and have taken points off many of those teams above them in the table.

Emboldened by a run of impressive results, Evans said: “If we can sneak into those play-offs then we will be in the Championship next year and that is the test, the test is if we are good enough to get in there, if we do then it’s cup-tie football and I have the best squad for cup-tie football sitting in our dressing room.”

Evans was equally optimistic last season before the Covid-19 pandemic cut the season short with the Gills eight points adrift when play was suspended.

Gillingham aren’t getting much praise for their progress - many teams who have dropped points against the Gills recently resent the way they play - but that doesn’t bother Evans.

He said: “Last summer, when the season finished, I had a lot of managers in that top group saying to me we would get in there because we were in tremendous form but we are actually in better form this year with a better squad, better players.

[The lack of recognition] doesn’t bother me. They wouldn’t do anyway would they? Look at the shenanigans that went on at Lincoln in midweek [the Gills beat the third placed team 3-0]. They were just talking absolute bunkum. It’s a word I heard when I was a little lad from a reporter, I think it means rubbish! They were talking bunkum and let them continue to talk it.”

The Lincoln captain was unhappy to lose to a team "that don't play pretty football" while their manager didn't have many kinds words to say either.

Following that midweek game, Gillingham went 2-0 up early on against Doncaster at the weekend but conceded twice and ended up drawing 2-2. They had other chances to win but had to make do with a point.

Evans is doing things with a small squad this season and has made no secret that those around him are operating with much bigger budgets than his own.

Looking at weekend opponents Doncaster, he said: “They travelled on Saturday and their bench is an array of talent and sitting behind us is another array of talent but that is every week.

“We don’t bother about that, we have very good players on that pitch that played really well and they gave us everything they can. We had a bad 15-20 minutes in the first half and sometimes that can happen but it is about reaction and the second half reaction was tremendous.

“Had it gone to 3-2 I think it would have been more but we have to accept this disappointment.”

Next up for the Gills is a trip to league leaders Hull City.

Read more on the Gills;

'I feel sick' Evans on Donny draw

Report: Gillingham 2 Doncaster 2

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