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Next Gillingham manager latest as Steve Evans breaks his silence

Steve Evans departed Gillingham on Sunday
Steve Evans departed Gillingham on Sunday

Steve Evans has spoken for the first time since he parted ways with Gillingham on Sunday.

Evans left by mutual consent after two-and-a-half years in charge of the Gills following a streak of 13 games without a win in all competitions, which left the club 23rd in League One.

Speaking with his former Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony on the The Hard Truth podcast, Evans said:

“Results ultimately cost you a job or get you a job. We can look at the extreme Covid we’ve had. We probably had it as bad as anyone. We were missing players for a crucial six/seven weeks from October to December.

“Listen, I’m not one to offer excuses. At the end of the day, I wasn’t happy, the chairman [Paul Scally] wasn’t happy, we’ve been speaking for the last couple of weeks.

“One thing I am, I’m honest at the end of it. Sometimes my opinion’s misguided but I said to him we need to sit down and he called me on Sunday and said let’s have that chat, and it was very amicable.

“We’ll see but it was very amicable in terms of it’s not working, he needs to change direction. When you’ve not won for that long, it’s right.

“I’ve nothing but gratitude for managing a good club. I lived amongst the people in Gillingham for many months and they were great to me and I’ve had messages of brilliant support since the news broke.”

League One Odds

When it comes to who could replace Evans in the Gills hot seat, what we currently know is that Paul Scally has temporarily turned to the manager who Evans replaced in 2019, Steve Lovell, who is now back at the League One club as caretaker. 

Lovell, 61, will oversee Saturday’s clash at home to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Burton (12th) as he bids to record Gillingham’s first league win since mid-October.

The hosts head into the match priced at 23/10 to claim a long-await three points, with a draw at 5/2, and a Burton victory priced at 5/4. We’ll have to wait and see if Lovell is still at the helm for Gillingham’s following fixture away to promotion-chasing Wigan on Saturday 22nd January.

“I haven’t discussed with the chairman how long I’ll be there,” Lovell told Kent Online.

“He’s asked me to come in and do a job and that’s what I’ll do until I’m told otherwise.

“I’ll work hard for him and the football club and I think the fans will understand I’m Gillingham through and through and all I want is success for the football club.

“If I can instil that passion and enthusiasm into the players I think the fans will respond to that but we need people to be behind us all the way and when I was there the last time they were brilliant with me.”

An instant manager bounce could see Lovell handed a short-term contract until the end of the season, or even beyond. 

In terms of other names who have been linked, there’s current Bromley boss Andy Woodman and former Bromley boss Neil Smith, ex-Newport manager Michael Flynn, and also Luke Garrard who last weekend led non-league Boreham Wood to a superb FA Cup upset over his former side AFC Wimbledon which set up a fourth round tie away to Bournemouth.

Smith was the odds-on favourite when Bet Victor first closed the market, which was opened up again only to swiftly shut with Woodman the new frontrunner.

For a detailed analysis on Smith, Woodman, and Lovell take a read of Gab Sutton’s in-depth piece below, with a focus on what Gills need from their next manager...

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