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Gillingham players tell manager Steve Evans that they are up for resuming the League 1 campaign

Gillingham manager Steve Evans insists his players are up for it - should League 1 resume in some capacity.

The EFL met on Wednesday to discuss potential ways of ending the season in the third-tier and will be putting various different options to their member clubs to vote on.

Max Ehmer in action for the Gills against Lincoln City Picture: Ady Kerry
Max Ehmer in action for the Gills against Lincoln City Picture: Ady Kerry

Gillingham could play out their final nine games, they might be part of an extended play-off campaign or it could be over and out for the current campaign.

Evans has checked in with his players on an individual basis this week to see how they are feeling. They have assured the manager they want to play, if it’s possible.

The Gills boss said: “I had a chat to every one of my players on Monday.

“They are up for it, absolutely, every one of them.

“We had a brilliant call with each and every one of them and Paul Raynor (the assistant manager) was involved in them as well, he had some really good input.

“We have no injuries, we are good.”

Evans has previously said he wouldn’t include anyone who was uneasy about returning.

He asked them all what their thoughts were.

“I gave them the option to opt out,” Evans said.

“Every one said no. If testing procedures are in place then we are up for it. Our boys fancy it.”

Gillingham are currently 11th in the League 1 table but are within striking distance of the play-offs if they finish their remaining nine games in a flourish.

Many clubs in League 1 are opposed to playing on, however, with concerns about the cost implications of finishing the season behind closed doors. They would have no income but plenty of expense, including an approximate £140,000 cost for coronavirus testing,

The Premier League players reported back for training on Tuesday and they were all tested. Watford and Burnley were among clubs with staff who tested positive. There were six positive tests from 748 taken.

English football’s top-flight were hoping to start up again in mid-June but that’s looking optimistic. The EFL would need to have their season concluded by the end of July, by which time any players with expired deals would be free to leave.

Gills boss Evans said: “We are good and ready and we will wait on the decision of the clubs either over the weekend or early next week.

“I am really keen to get out of the house and play football but we do need to make sure that every one of those lads is looked after as best as humanly possible, as it should be with everyone, like the people who work in the supermarkets, the delivery guys, a lot of people out there who get no credit and no mention. The NHS and the carers get it, and quite rightfully so, but there are a lot of other people keeping this country going as well.”

German football is back underway, to a mixed reception.

Evans said: “I know we all watched the German football and I thought it was crap. It had no atmosphere but I am not passionately involved in supporting one of those clubs.

“If we are in the play-offs, I am telling you there is plenty of excitement. There might not be excitement in the seats around us, apart from on the benches, but there will be excitement in a lot of houses and the same for the opposition.

“If they say it is play-offs and we are in the top 10 (which the Gills would be if the table if decided on points per game average) then give us the opposition, let’s get planned and ready for cup-tie football to try and win them.”

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