Evans: “Oxford are the best team we’ve seen”

Gillingham manager Steve Evans feels Saturday’s game with Oxford United will prove to be their biggest test of the season.

Oxford eased past the Gills 3-0 back in September and Evans feels The U’s have improved even further in recent weeks, aided by some good additions.

Evans said: “They’ve got a good manager, an outstanding budget, and they’ve signed outstanding players. They’ve added some real quality and I think they’ll get promoted. We got nowhere near them at The Kassam (earlier on in the season) and we need to be a lot sharper on Saturday that’s for sure.

Alex Jakubiak takes on his man at The Kassam Stadium (KentProImages)

Gillingham themselves have come along way since the defeat in Oxfordshire earlier on in the season and are currently unbeaten in their last seven in the league, their best run of the season.

Evans added: “We’ve got the biggest obstacle to that run on Saturday when Oxford are the visitors. They beat us very easily away from home, they are the best team we’ve seen neutrally. Paul Raynor watched them on Tuesday and he said they should have beaten Ipswich”

“They are full of good players, They have an outstanding manager in Karl Robinson so it will be a tough afternoon for us, but we’ve had some tough afternoon’s in recent months and we’ve been able to deal with them.”

Despite sitting 14th in the league, the Gills sit just five points outside the play-off places, added motivation on Saturday for Evans: “Just looking around the league would put us near the top ten, but the boys can achieve it. In the early part of the season when a lot of people will have written us off but we are in this together and we are working so hard.

“I think now you hear the buzz with all the staff, the squad and the supporters and everyone is pulling in the same direction, it feels like when you’re inside the stadium. Perhaps that hasn’t been here as much as it should have been in recent weeks.” 

Gillingham have a near full squad to choose from for the game with Oxford and Evans hinted that Matty Willock may well make a return to the starting eleven.

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