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Gillingham boss Steve Evans up against Paul Warne, one of his former Rotherham United backroom team members at the New York Stadium

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There will be mutual respect across the touchline divide on Tuesday night as managers Steve Evans and Paul Warne go head to head.

During Evans’ successful years as manager of Rotherham - claiming back to back promotions - he had Warne working as one of his key men behind the scenes with a role of fitness coach.

Manager Steve Evans up against a familiar figure in Rotherham boss Paul Warne Picture: Ady Kerry
Manager Steve Evans up against a familiar figure in Rotherham boss Paul Warne Picture: Ady Kerry

Warne has been in charge of the Millers for the past five years but Gillingham boss Evans said: “We still speak and every time he speaks to me he still calls me gaffer and that is the respect of the man.

“I am not his gaffer but Paul was fantastic for me, he played a big part in the success we had, fitness and conditioning coaches play a big part.

“I remember he stepped in and out of the management role (at Rotherham) and I remember thinking ‘why don’t they just give it to him (permanently)?’ He has taken to it brilliantly but he gets the most fantastic support from the chairman and the Stuart family.

“You have no excuses when you are manager of Rotherham. You don’t get the budget of Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland, of course you don’t, but they will be thereabouts with everyone else.

“The Rotherham chairman (Tony Stewart) told me he expected promotion with their budget and Paul Warne has done a brilliant job. He deserved all the praise in the world.”

More on the Gills;

Gillingham travel to Rotherham looking for a first league win in seven. The Millers sit top of League 1 but the top three sides are only separated by goal difference and ninth-placed Portsmouth are only six points off the top.

Warne, looking ahead to the visit of Gillingham, said: “It is another home game against a team who have been on the wrong end of some bad fortune of late.

“I think they played really well against Portsmouth and were unfortunate to lose in the end. I’m well aware of their strengths and I know that Steve and Paul will get them out of trouble, I wouldn’t expect them to be down there.

“We have to be prepared for what they can do to us."

The Gills could have a couple of players back available tonight after both Rhys Bennett and David Tutonda returned to training. Evans revealed on Monday he did have another player out with Covid but declined to name him.

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