Published: 06:00, 01 December 2020
Gillingham manager Steve Evans is predicting a tougher battle ahead at Bristol Rovers following their new managerial appointment.
The Gills go up against Rovers in League 1 on Wednesday night as they look to put in an improved display following their poor weekend effort against Exeter City.
Rovers had no issues in their FA Cup second round game, hammering Darlington 6-0 on Sunday, in what was new manager Paul Tisdale’s third game in charge.
The former Exeter City and MK Dons boss started with a 1-0 defeat to Swindon and picked up a point in a goalless draw with Wigan. Wednesday night will be Tisdale’s first home match in charge of his new club.
Evans has previously spoken of Tisdale and said: “He is a man I hold in the highest regard as a coach, a man and a friend.”
They swapped messages when he took charge at the Memorial Stadium following Ben Garner’s dismissal, the previous incumbent unable to get the team firing despite amassing a decent squad on paper, one that includes former Gills pair Brandon Hanlan and Max Ehmer.
Speaking on Sunday, Evans said: “Paul Tisdale is a man I know very well and have a super relationship with.
“We have the greatest respect for each other and it will be an interesting game.
“We exchanged messages soon after he was appointed and that manager change alone will make our challenge on Wednesday much more difficult as he will have them very organised and efficient.”
Gillingham assistant boss Paul Raynor is also expecting a tough challenge, commenting: “We have come up against them many times, we will look at them and their videos and find a way to hopefully bounce back."
Another former Gills player Josh Hare - who scored on Sunday - admitted the players were to blame for Garner’s recent sacking, winning just three of their opening 11 league games. The manager departed less than two hours after a 4-1 loss to Fleetwood.
Speaking to the Bristol Post, he said: “I think everybody had a good relationship with the previous manager but it is what it is and we’ve all got to get on with it.
“Tommy (Widrington, who was briefly in caretaker charge) said in a meeting this week that we’re partly to blame for him losing his job and he’s right, we’ve got to take it upon ourselves to go and win football matches.”
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