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Point-saving cameo by Alex Jakubiak at Fleetwood Town gives Gillingham boss Steve Evans food for thought

Gillingham turned to their substitutes to get a result at the weekend.

Alex Jakubiak was one of those to come off the bench, scoring an 82nd-minute equaliser at Fleetwood.

Gillingham's Stuart O’Keefe challenges for the ball in midfield at Fleetwood on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham's Stuart O’Keefe challenges for the ball in midfield at Fleetwood on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry

The impact of those in reserve have given boss Steve Evans much to ponder.

He said: “There is no doubt that our substitutes got us back in the game, they came on with a purpose and we went for it.

“We are not going to sit men behind the ball and try and steal a win, Steve Evans’ teams are known for scoring a lot of late goals, they score last-minute winners and equalisers and we’ll try and go for a winner. We tried to do that.”

Jakubiak is itching for a starting role and his quality finish won’t have done his chances any harm.

On the goalscorer, Evans said: “It was a stunning finish but perhaps he needs to be a bit more industrious and work harder.

“We are at that level where you can’t just turn up when you want to, you have to turn up with meaning.

“We know what Alex can do, we haven’t seen it enough but he has worked incredibly hard in training to try and stake a claim to start.

“But we stuck with the front two we have and one of them let us down badly, back to the way he was at the start of the season, which is not going to keep him in the team.

“Alex came on and made a difference, not just the goal, he drove at them, Brandon did it late on, Mark Marshall was driving at them and Ben Pringle did (the two other substitutes). We had them on the rack to try and get the winning goal but it wouldn’t come.

“We only have a small squad and our substitutes will play a part. I thought all three did on Saturday.”

The striker who didn’t impress Evans was Mikael Mandron, who the manager said had a shocker, adding: “If he thinks that is the standard to stay in the team then he is very much mistaken.”

Evans doesn’t have an abundance of options at his disposal but will hope to have more when the January transfer window comes around.

He said: “We are keen for the transfer window to come, we need it more than most.

“We operate on such a small squad, I looked at some of the players they could introduce off the bench, what was around us last week (against Sunderland) and the week before.

“But that is what becoming a Gillingham manager is, you don’t have the biggest of budgets but we go to the end. We fight and if they don’t fight for the badge and for themselves then they won’t be here under me.

“When the boys are off thinking about Christmas presents I am thinking about where is my present?

“I have got a list, I have been travelling around the country, I was watching Blackburn under-23s against Leicester City and I think the chairman said it’s the first time in his career he has travelled away with his team and the manager tells him he is leaving the hotel to go and watch a game. He came with me and the one or two we were watching did really well.

“It’s all about affordability. It’s no good telling the Gills supporters we are going out to sign strikers for the monies that get talked about. We are not in that market place, we need to find the Alfie Jones, Tom O’Connors, and Jack Tuckers.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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