Published: 19:00, 19 December 2020
| Updated: 22:55, 19 December 2020
Gillingham’s weekend performance was good enough to beat anyone in League 1 said manager Steve Evans.
His side brushed aside Rochdale on Saturday with a dominant performance, winning 4-1.
“We played some wonderful football,” beamed the Gills boss, who had been without a host of key players for the match.
“It was such a good performance that we would have beaten anyone in the league. Consistency is a key factor in this league and like other teams, like Rochdale, we have lacked it.
“We worked on a certain plan after Tuesday (when the Gills lost 2-0 at home to Accrington Stanley) and we knew the players we would be without.
“We wanted the players to go out and express themselves and we did that all over the pitch. We’re disappointed to concede at the end to not give us a clean sheet but it was never a corner (which led to the goal). It sounds like I’m moaning but it’s never a corner, he shanks it out.
“I think we had four or five other chances and it could have been a drubbing for Rochdale with the quality of passing. It was a good Rochdale team. Nobody does that to them and that’s credit to our players.
“We got the ball on the floor and I said to Robertson, Eccles, Dempsey and MacDonald, ‘I am picking you guys to get the ball on the floor, pass it around people, have more energy and more intensity and play like we should play’ and they delivered.
“Rochdale beat Plymouth by four away from home and Wigan by five last week and it could have been more. They have good players, it’s a good side, but we have always said we have good players and we have to give them the confidence to play.
“I said to them there was no pressure and to just go and play. If we got a defeat, we got a defeat. It was our intensity that was most impressive.
“Spotland is always a tough place to go and you have to earn the right to play. Brian (Barry-Murphy) is putting his stamp on it and they play some wonderful football and I have seen them twice this season. At the end he said ‘your team played brilliantly’.
“It was a brilliant performance and I applaud the dressing room.
“I am disappointed for Jack (Bonham, the Gills keeper) because he deserved a clean sheet, in fairness to him he had one save to make all day, nothing else, but we would have taken 1-0.
“We had to win a game after two defeats and not the best performances, but we’ve got a win and a super performance. The fans who watched it will have got a real boost going into Christmas.”