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Gillingham manager Steve Evans wants to be friends with Ipswich boss Paul Lambert but he isn't keen

Gillingham boss Steve Evans will offer the hand of friendship to Paul Lambert - but the Ipswich manager seems unlikely to accept it.

The two men come face to face again tonight (Tuesday) in the EFL Trophy at Portman Road, just 18 days after a public spat at Priestfield, following the league meeting which unbeaten Ipswich won 1-0.

Gillingham boss Steve Evans. Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham boss Steve Evans. Picture: Ady Kerry

Evans was incensed at comments made by Lambert on the touchline that day but his opposite number bit back on his own club’s website later that evening, calling the Gills boss a liar.

Ahead of their midweek match, Evans was keen to put that episode behind them.

“Me and Paul normally have a good relationship,” he said.

“We both wanted to win the game so badly. Both of us went home that night and were probably disappointed.

“We will have a handshake before the game and probably have a glass of wine afterwards. We have done that before as managers.

“He is passionate. He is a brilliant manager and he will take Ipswich back into the Championship, in one hit. He did it at Norwich and he will do it again.

“They will be a much better club in the Championship with what he inherited.”

But Lambert said: “I’ll never interact with him again after that. If that’s the way he wants to work, no problem, but don’t expect me to shake his hand before and don’t expect me to shake his hand after.

"Nobody has ever done that to me.”

Evans may be keen to patch things up with Lambert but they may still be disagreeing about their upbringing.

“I don’t know who is from the toughest area of Glasgow,” Evans said, with a smile.

“In terms of hard upbringings, I say it is me, he says it is him!

“He said he is from Parkhead, which is two or three miles from Cambuslang, where I come from.

“I had my brothers’ trousers and shoes and they did have holes in them. I am not sure he was at that level.”

Focussing back on the game, Evans will switch his team around for fixture.

“One or two of the kids will play,” he said.

“The focus will be Fratton Park (home of next weekend’s opponents Portsmouth).

“The majority of the boys that played Saturday will not be involved, they won’t travel, they will train Tuesday morning.

“We are not as fortunate as Ipswich, they will be able to make 10-11 changes and probably still be strong. We have a first team squad of 20.”

Gillingham lost 3-2 at home to Colchester in their opening group match of the EFL Trophy. Ipswich kicked off with a 2-1 win over Tottenham under-21s.

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