Published: 05:00, 19 October 2021
Gillingham face bottom side Doncaster Rovers at Priestfield tonight.
Manager Steve Evans admits Saturday’s efforts against Sunderland took its toll and he’ll be basing his selections on fitness as much as talent for the midweek match.
Ryan Jackson lasted the 90 minutes on Saturday in his first game back since the end of August while Mustapha Carayol was replaced after an hour as he returned after just over a month on the sidelines. Evans admitted neither were 100% fit at the weekend.
Defender Jack Tucker is confident he can overcome a knock but the manager said striker Vadaine Oliver was struggling for the last 20 minutes against Sunderland as he tightened up.
Injury issues are becoming the norm now for Evans, who doesn’t have a vast squad to dip into.
Evans, speaking after that narrow defeat to Sunderland, said: “We have a few players who are struggling after the efforts of Saturday.
“We will probably have to make changes because of the knocks we’ve got.”
Gillingham are outside the bottom four on goal difference and have been no lower than their current 20th place since the start of the season.
The performance against Sunderland was encouraging, but results-wise the Gills need points soon. They’ve lost the last three in the league with their only goal in those games coming from the penalty spot.
Evans was short of players at the weekend but still managed to name a strong XI and were desperately unlucky not to get something from the game.
“When you have that starting XI you have chance of winning games,” he said. “You can see what we did to a team that will go top of the league if they win their games in hand.”
Midweek visitors Doncaster haven’t picked up a single point on their travels so far in League 1, losing all six of their previous away games. They’ve have only managed two goals and conceded 15.
But Gillingham’s home form is surprisingly poor, with just one win from six.
Former Gills striker Mark McCammon, who played for the Gills between 2008 and 2011 before an acrimonious departure, spoke about the game as part of Doncaster Rovers pre-match preview.
He said: “It’s going to be a tough battle and the reality is that is it going to be a relegation fight. Everyone is going to be rolling up their sleeves. It si going to be a scrap but Doncaster are known for their great football and hopefully they can get the ball down and play and get the ball to the front men and try and get some goals and a result.
“I had a traumatising time at Gillingham. I left a good club and things went down hill and I had some bad experiences but I remember the good memories at Doncaster. It was great, a good harmony, Sean O’Driscoll the manager got the best out of me, they made me believe in myself.”
More on the Gills;