Gillingham’s defeat on Saturday hasn’t distracted manager Steve Evans from his no.1 target.
Evans described their first half against Doncaster on Saturday as ‘totally unacceptable’. A 2-1 defeat led to them losing valuable points to a potential play-off challenger. Another team chasing the top six head to Priestfield tonight.
Visitors Accrington Stanley are much like the Gills, attempting to force their way into a crowd of big spending clubs, and the Lancashire side are going along nicely.
Stanley boss John Coleman picked up the November award for manager-of-the-month following a six-game unbeaten run in League 1. That impressive form came after a Covid-enforced break. The club suffered a major outbreak of the virus towards the end of October.
Coleman’s side, who are 10th in the table, still have games in hand over all of the clubs above them and winning just one of them would comfortably put them among the chasing pack. Their unbeaten run ended on Saturday with a 4-3 defeat to Wigan Athletic.
Evans will be hoping to get back involved with the front runners themselves and victory on Tuesday - in a 5.30pm kick off - should leave the Gills knocking back on that door.
“This will be a really tough encounter,” Evans warned.
“Accrington are a quality team with good players and have started the season impressively.
“John and Jimmy (Bell, the assistant) are doing a brilliant job and they will finish in the play-offs.
“They were 3-0 down (on Saturday), got it back to 3-2, 4-2, 4-3, they fight don’t they?
“If we win on Tuesday we could be three points away (from the play-off positions).
“We are then away to Rochdale (on Saturday) and home to Peterborough (on Boxing Day), two great games. We will look forward to them.”
Gillingham were five unbeaten themselves in League 1 before losing to Doncaster Rovers at the weekend. A poor first half left them on the back foot but Evans hopes they can take some comfort from an improved second half.
He said: “We finished the game well, we finished it strong, and that gives us confidence going into Tuesday.”