Published: 06:00, 28 September 2021
| Updated: 09:43, 28 September 2021
Gillingham’s injury situation is unlikely to have improved in time for their visit to Cambridge United tonight.
Mustapha Carayol, Ryan Jackson and Dan Phillips have all been absent of late and Stuart O’Keefe was also missing at the weekend, having picked up a shoulder injury in the challenge that led to his red card against MK Dons.
The Gills are further hampered by the expected suspension of defender Jack Tucker, following his fifth caution of the season on Saturday.
Boss Steve Evans, updating the injury situation, said on Saturday: “Phillips is a couple of weeks, Jackson is a couple of weeks and Carayol could be ready for next weekend. We will see if we can get him back on the grass this week.
“We go without Jack and I can’t promote anyone, maybe young Harvey (Lintott) but will he get on the pitch? Probably not. We will probably be light on the bench.”
On O’Keefe’s injury, he said: “Stuart O’Keefe is feeling his shoulder. The boy gave him an elbow as the challenge happened but it’s not long term.”
Opponents Cambridge have had some notable results already this season, following their promotion from League 2. They’ve claimed wins in matches against Burton, Bolton and Portsmouth.
Evans said: “The manager there (Mark Bonner) has done a wonderful job, they are a wonderful club and I know the owner and the people around it. They have really good players and the owners have really backed him this year with extra investment to secure some really good players.
“It will be another tough League 1 game for us. We are finding this season League 1 is really tough. There are no gimmes this year.”
Gillingham have started the season as the draw specialists, with five matches from nine ending level, including three of their last four.
Evans said: “First and foremost you need to be hard to beat. We might lack that bit of quality at times but I know my players, they are quality. How can you have better quality than Dempsey, Oliver in the air, Tucker, we have some real quality but we need that and more this year.
“We need to work as desperately hard as we can, to be organised and to ask our big players to turn up and produce big performances.
"But to have a fair crack at this we need players fit don’t we? We have been absolutely smashed since the start of the season, we had young kids out there (on Saturday), one of them is on less than £200 a week. You are asking a lot of them. We are trying to be hard to beat and then worry about winning games.”