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Gillingham manager Steve Evans hails impact of on-loan Wolves winger Jordan Graham in victory at Southend United

Manager Steve Evans reckons on-loan Gillingham winger Jordan Graham can cause any defence in League 1 - or the Championship - problems on his day.

Graham, a January deadline-day signing from Wolves, came on at half-time in the Gills’ 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Southend on Tuesday and set up left-back Connor Ogilvie’s winner.

Jordan Graham in action for Gillingham at Southend on Tuesday night Picture: Ady Kerry
Jordan Graham in action for Gillingham at Southend on Tuesday night Picture: Ady Kerry

Evans said: “If you want to know about Jordan Graham, you can tell (from the fact) he played in a good Wolves team how good and exciting the kid was.

“If you give him good possession in the final third, any full-back at Championship or League 1 level has a real problem in dealing with him.

“It’s a fantastic cross for the goal but his first introduction to the play saw him go past the full-back and put a wonderful cross in.

“It got deflected for a corner but we should score.

“Then, he slipped a couple of times and his decision-making wasn’t quite there but that’s what happens when you get introduced as a wide player with frightening pace and a very attacking instinct and he has to graft in a 4-4-2 shape for the team.

“But he made the goal, we score the goal and we win the game."

Evans admitted he was not happy with his team’s first-half display at Roots Hall, although said wins are all that matter at this stage in the season for ninth-placed Gillingham.

“I thought we looked poor in the first half, we looked disjointed,” he admitted.

“We looked, if I’m being completely honest, maybe a little bit disrespectful towards Southend because of where there they are in League 1.

“But I watched enough footage on Sunday to realise that these kids Sol (Campbell, Southend’s boss) has got can play a little bit.

“So we went in at half-time and had to make a change.

“In the first five or 10 minutes of the second half, there wasn’t much improvement, really, and we had a few harsh words (with the players) when there was a little break.

“But I think, from there on in, we dominated proceedings apart from the odd counter-attack.

“We scored a good goal, missed a couple of half-chances to kill the game which we didn't take them and they missed a chance which was always going to happen (as substitute Matt Rush fired wide late on).

“It was poor play from us defensively a little bit when we switched off.

“But at this stage of the season, it’s a game we were looking to win and we did win it.”

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