Evans believes Sunderland second half is the best of the season
Evans believes Sunderland second half is the best of the season

Gillingham manager Steve Evans said that the second half against Sunderland was his side’s best 45 minutes of football on the road so far this season.

The Gills came back from 1-0 down at the Stadium of Light to salvage a draw and take the FA Cup first round tie back to Priestfield for a replay.

“As a 45 [minute period] I think you need to measure quality against quality and player against player and, if you look at who is out there for Sunderland and who is unavailable through injury and things, you think it’s a good result in terms of taking them back” said the Scotsman who took over in the dugout over the summer.

“But it’s only a good result if you win in the replay” he added. “It’s no use getting replays and getting beat.

“I tend to open it up to the players after the match as they tend to look after themselves and I said to them how does it feel? A couple of them said they were disappointed that we’ve drawn and that’s a credit to the second half performance.”

Evans is not hoping these results will transfer into the league with his side currently sitting 16th in League One: “We’ve needed to tweak the team a little through illness… but you can’t ask any more from the players in terms of how much they covered the grass in that second half, how much they moved the ball around and how many problems we’ve given a good side.”

Information about the replay is yet to be announced by either club.