Gillingham boss makes outlandish claim that will leave the likes of Portsmouth, Blackpool, Ipswich, Charlton and Doncaster wondering what's the point

Pompey’s determination to remain in the promotion mix saw them call time on Kenny’s Jackett’s Fratton Park stay and replace him with Danny Cowley last week.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 6:30 am
Gillingham boss Steve Evans. Picture: Harry Trump/Getty Images

It’s was deemed the necessary course of action to ensure the Blues finish in the top six at least and be part of the end-of-season play-offs.

Cowley helped settle those nerves as Pompey came from behind to beat promotion rivals Ipswich on Saturday.

Yet that, and any further progress made by the head coach and his inherited team over the next 11 games, could prove pointless if Gillingham boss Steve Evans’ outlandish prediction is to be believed.

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That’s because he’s of the opinion it will be his Gills side who will claim the third and final promotion place to the Championship at the end of term – if his troops manage to grab one of four play-off places.

It’s an assertion based on his belief that the Kent outfit have the ‘best squad for cup-tie football’ in the division.

Gillingham currently sit ninth in the table on 54 points – two points off sixth spot, which is currently occupied by Blackpool.

They are among half-a-dozen clubs who are just one win away from breaking into the top six as an exciting run-in to the season begins.

Eighth-placed Pompey are among those six teams, with a point more than Gillingham and with two games less played.

But Evans believes the likes of the Blues and the four teams currently in the play-off positions are all destined for end-of-season heartache if his side book a top-six finish.

He told KentOnline: ‘If we can sneak into those play-offs then we will be in the Championship next year and that is the test, the test is if we are good enough to get in there.

‘If we do then it’s cup-tie football and I have the best squad for cup-tie football sitting in our dressing room.

‘Last summer, when the season finished (early), I had a lot of managers in that top group saying to me we would get in there because we were in tremendous form.

‘But we are actually in better form this year with a better squad, better players.’

Gillingham have suffered just one defeat since drawing 1-1 with Pompey at Fratton Park on February 27 – a run that has seen them beat promotion contenders Ipswich and Lincoln and claim a draw against Doncaster.

They return to action on Saturday with a trip to league leaders Hull.

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