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Gillingham manager Steve Evans hoping to build team spirit

Manager Steve Evans wants to build an “us versus the world” mentality at Gillingham.

He remembers battling against the Gills during the 2012/13 season, then under Martin Allen, back in League 2. They were a team everyone else hated, including him.

Allen’s team won the title that season, with Evans’ Rotherham United outfit finishing second.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham manager Steve Evans Picture: Ady Kerry

Evans won promotion again the following season, as the Gills stalled, but he wants that kinds of mentality now he’s in charge at Priestfield. It’s something he can see is already starting.

He said: “You can see the spirit here – it’s us versus the world.

“The successful teams have it, be it Manchester City, Liverpool, or Manchester United under Sir Alex, the best manager who ever lived in my time.

“Everyone outside Old Trafford wanted to beat them and it was us against them, that type of thing. That is what we (as a management) try to create everywhere we go.

“This club had it, certainly in my time, under Hess for a while and they certainly had it under Martin. Everyone in the league hated Gillingham with Martin and I did as well, because he created that, it was brilliant.

“It was the same as I had at Rotherham, we had the same at Leeds and Crawley – everyone hated us. You have to create these things, you work with these lads day in, day out. It’s their livings, their mortgages, their rents and their finance on the cars, everything depends on trying to be successful.”

Evans will take his side to Isthmian Premier side Folkestone this Saturday following four days away at a training camp.

Last weekend they had their first open pre-season match infront of spectators, who enjoyed a 9-1 win at Faversham, and Evans enjoyed mixing with the fans, before, during and after the game – including the train journey home.

He said: “It was nice to have warm words said around the bench before, during and after the game. We have come to live and breathe this project, that’s what we are going to do and I think the fans got to see a sign of what we are trying to do.

“Some supporters were there last year and I think it was game on at some stages but the gulf (last Saturday) was evident with the quality that we had.”

Read more: The latest sports news from Kent

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