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Gillingham boss Steve Evans says decision to leave the coach behind saved them some money at the weekend

Gillingham’s players helped save the club some money by driving themselves to Swindon rather than taking the bus.

Standard practice is for football teams to arrive together at an away ground on a team coach - or even two as has been the case for many clubs during the Covid crisis to help with distancing - but it’s one expense the Gills felt they could cut at the weekend.

Instead the players arrived at their team hotel in their own cars and it did them no harm. Despite a long midweek trip to the Fleetwood on Tuesday the team were full of energy at Swindon.

Manager Steve Evans said: “Credit to the chairman for how he has managed to keep things going in what is a difficult time. We have tried to play our part.

“We have taken cars to different games rather than the team coach, saved some money and tried to put a little bit back towards paying some other things.”

The Gills did the same for their trip to Charlton and won there too.

“Supporters will be saying we should do it for every game,” Evans joked.

“It is just a decision that myself and Paul (Raynor, the assistant manager) came to.

“We look at the distance and speak to the players every day. It was a decision we made before Fleetwood. Charlton we did it because of proximity and leading up to the game we weren’t sure if the game would be on (because of freezing temperatures).

“This one was about getting back in at 5am (from Fleetwood on Wednesday morning) and for some of them they weren’t getting into their own beds until 6.30am.

“We had to try and recover them and on Friday we said ‘would it help us being on a team coach that takes three and a half hours, subject to the m25?’”

Instead the players made their own way to the team hotel to prepare for the game and afterwards headed off in their own direction.

“Players were telling me at breakfast in the morning how fresh they felt,” said the manager.

“That is testament to people like James Russell the fitness coach and Paul Raynor, working these players so hard.

"We have incredibly fit footballers and that has been echoed for me by one or two, like with the performances of Akinde, performances of Robbie McKenzie who was unlucky not to start (on Saturday), he was outstanding at Fleetwood, so was MacDonald and Akinde.”

More: Gills boss explains Swindon selection

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