Published: 06:00, 19 January 2021
Gillingham manager Steve Evans says the trip to Lincoln City will be a 'little easier' without a big crowd against them.
The Imps have been packing out Sincil Bank over the last few years after an upturn in fortunes and the locals have responded by creating a buzzing atmosphere. That will be missing when the Gills take on the league leaders tonight.
Evans, who had some banter with the City fans last season, said: “We know how tough it will be at Sincil Bank but it makes it a little bit easier when they haven’t got 10,000 fans behind them.
“Their fans are worth a goal from the start, they are incredible, but Michael Appleton (the City manager) has enough in the dressing room. Anyone who finishes above Lincoln this season will be playing Championship football next season.”
Gillingham beat promotion-chasing Accrington at the weekend to end a run of three straight defeats but The Imps weren’t in action as their game against Shrewsbury was off because of Covid cases in the opposition camp.
Shrews manager Steve Cotterill was among 20 positive cases and was treated in intensive care for the virus. He is now recovering in hospital.
All EFL clubs are now receiving bi-weekly Covid tests.
Gillingham have injury concerns ahead of the game, picking up a couple of knocks at Accrington. Evans didn’t name names of those starters who were struggling.
He knows they’ll have to be on top of their game to beat a club who have continued their progression under the management of Appleton. Recent financial figures show they have spent big to get where they are, with over £4m in losses over the last three years, following their return to the Football League.
“They have a very good manager and they have had some good investment there,” said Evans.
“You only have to look at the figures the board released last week, a big budget, but I have been at clubs with big budgets and you have to produce. Michael is producing.
“They have top players and top back-up players and players who would get into most teams sitting on the bench.
“We have two or three knocks, there were players hanging on at the end (against Accrington), but we didn’t change many positions because they were in the flow of the game. We will have a role call and have a look at it. It will be a fresh approach. It might be a fresh line up considering the knocks we have got.
“Lincoln is a different kettle of fish (to Accrington), a different side, I have a lot of respect for Michael, of course he has managed in the Premier League, you know what you are going to get.
“They are an outstanding side, great ability, great finesse, big investment behind the team this season but we have to make sure we are ready for them.”
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