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Oxford United 3 Gillingham 2: Manager Steve Evans reacts to costly defeat at the Kassam Stadium

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Gillingham manager Steve Evans pointed to the individual mistakes that proved costly for the team at Oxford United.

The Gills were leading 2-0 and looking good for three points at Oxford, but the home side were then gifted opportunities which they gladly took, scoring three times in 20 minutes to clinch the win.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans blasted the individual errors at Oxford
Gillingham manager Steve Evans blasted the individual errors at Oxford

Evans said: “We had 75% of the game, we have been the better team by a country mile, but it is never won in that time.

“We played all the football and made all the chances, we were 2-0 up, could have been more, but you can’t then defend like that.

“We have a nominated marker on Sam Winnall on the edge of the box, he said he didn’t see him, didn’t realise he was there, it is a big pitch, he is on his own, that gave them a real lift.

“We then have a man on the left side who should track the boy (Sam Long) into the box and doesn’t track him properly and they get the goal and then he is off one of our players again to get the winning goal.

“Credit to Oxford, they had a never say die attitude and went to the end, they got belief after 74 minutes (when they got their first goal back) and they will be glad they are not playing us again that’s for sure because for 74 minutes they got a lesson.

“But a game doesn't last 74 minutes it last 96, or whatever the referee played. I don’t think we got one decision that went in our favour, but we are not blaming him, we are blaming not doing our own jobs.

“They ran out of discipline. It’s alright them walking in there (to the dressing room) and saying, ‘sorry gaffer, sorry lads’, three times, it was three different players. It is about discipline.

“When you are 2-0 up you shut the game out, you mark your runners, you do what you have done for 74 minutes, you don’t think ‘oh, well we have won here’. You haven’t won until you win and that is why they are not playing for a top side in the division, any of them, because you have to do your job.

“It hurts when individuals don’t do their jobs. For 74 minutes the boys carried the plan out. The plan was to get the ball down and play and attack them, we did that, we were two-up, it could have been three or four.

“A bad refereeing decision stopped us going three on one, it was bad defending and the referee bails them with a foul, but you can’t then not mark individual players that are nominated.

“We don’t mark Winnall who has all day to pick his spot and then it is just two 60-70 yard balls into the box. You have to match runners, if you don’t match runners then you concede a goal, we didn’t match runners.

“I have three players saying to me and the group that they apologise but that cuts no ice with me, just do your job.

“We just didn’t do our jobs individually, not collectively, the boys have given everything, even the three lads who made huge mistakes but huge mistakes can cost you.”

Report: Oxford United 3 Gillingham 2

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