Evans was not expecting to reshuffle Gillingham's pack so early

Gillingham 3-2 MK Dons

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 8:30 am
Gillingham celebrate

Gillingham boss Steve Evans admitted he set his side up wrong initially and had to make quick changes to his side's formation to counter MK Dons on Tuesday night.

Taking an opposite approach to most teams when they take on Russell Martin's side, Gillingham sat off early on and were punished when a 55-pass move allowed Will Grigg to finish off and put Dons ahead after four minutes.

But after an injury to Ryan Jackson after 10 minutes, Evans called members of his team to the dugout for a reshuffle of his setup to get his side back into the affair. And it worked, with a more lively Gillingham kicking into life. Goals from Jordan Hraham and Vadaine Oliver came before the interval as Gillingham took the lead before Warren O'Hora's equaliser. But Connor Ogilvie's strike 16 minutes from time secured the points for the hosts.

“Jacko was just feeling his shoulder a little bit so he sat down,” said Evans afterwards. “We could have reorganised it quickly anyway, within 30 seconds.

“Myself and Paul (Raynor, his assistant) knew we had to change shape after five minutes and that we hadn’t got it right. We worked on two options on the training ground on Monday and we said to the boys pre-game we may have to change it at some point. We were thinking later in the game, not after seven or eight minutes!

“In fairness to them we knew how they would play, their goalkeeper would have the most possession, more than any outfield player for sure, that is how they play.

“We didn’t put any of the plans we had in place into action and we got a break when Ryan Jackson went down. We got the opportunity to change the way we play and change the strategy and we worked on that on the Monday. We changed it around and from there on in we were by far the better side.”