Published: 09:00, 20 September 2020
| Updated: 09:04, 20 September 2020
Gillingham boss Steve Evans is getting the best out of winger Jordan Graham and he says it’s all about the love.
Evans managed to bring Graham back to the Gills in the summer on a permanent deal - having had him on loan briefly last season - after he was released by Wolves.
Prior to their weekend trip to Wigan, two-goal Graham said: “I feel he (the manager) gets the best out of me. He keeps me switched on in training and out on the pitch.”
Graham scored twice at Wigan in a 3-2 win and could have had more, hitting the post with one corner and seeing another cleared off the line by the goalkeeper. Evans felt it crossed the line.
Injuries have hit Graham hard in his career to date but he’s showing what a player he can be.
“You have to love Jordan Graham and you have to believe in him,” said the Gills boss.
“He gets on the ball, sometimes it won’t come off for him but we said when we signed him we would play him, we would play him in a number of roles and he may have to sit out if he is lacking energy but we love him, we love him being around. I am only glad we are not playing Wolves in the Carabao Cup (next round) because we would have been hearing about it all the way home from Wigan!”
Gillingham will play Stoke City in round three on Wednesday night.
Evans admits he was surprised to have landed the 25-year-old in the summer with a number of other clubs chasing his signature.
“I didn’t think we had a chance,” the Gills boss admitted.
“He is Championship player, playing in League 1. When I first got in touch with him he said he would have a couple of weeks away after the troubles of Covid but I kept at him, I met him and his dad just a few days before he signed and his dad said, ‘nobody has shown the love and consistency that you have’. On that basis he was pleased for Jordan to sign for us.
“We are getting our rewards and we will continue to love him and at the same time we will tell him off when we steps out of line because he can be a rascal!
“I came across him at Wolves when I was at Leeds and he played against us, very effective and very purposeful, and you ask people about him. You have to believe in him, you have to tell him straight, sometimes. He has to come into the office to be told off, but there are ways to do it with these young men, if you are harsh we could sink them but we said to the chairman I wanted to go younger (this season), more energy and athletic and Jordan is the type of player I meant.”
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