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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

11 November 2012

Steve Evans' weekly round-up...

Steve Evans spoke to the official website this lunch-time to reflect on a difficult day yesterday, and answer a number of key questions as part of his weekly Gaffer on a Sunday feature.

Q. What are your thoughts on yesterday's defeat away at Dagenham & Redbridge?

I have not had the chance as yet to watch the full match on the DVD but from what I have seen and from my memory it was abysmal from start to finish.

The lads certainly tried but it is always about how you channel those energies that is key. We went into the match without several key players and lost Craig Morgan after ten minutes, which was another huge blow on top of what is a huge pile of injuries.

We lacked any quality in our play, our team shape was all over the place and if we thought we had gone forward 10 steps in the last few weeks we have gone back as many when you reflect on what was a totally inept display.

I want to take nothing away from Dagenham who I thought were excellent and I have no doubt they will enjoy a good season, but that apart I am not interested in them, I am only focused on the job we have here.

Many times I have said it will be a roller-coaster season but I certainly did not envisage to this extent. The lads have been in today and we will be working as hard as we can to get ready for next Saturday. To a man we know it was not acceptable yesterday, on behalf of all the lads I offer our apologies to our supporters who made the long journey down to London.

It was a bad weekend from start to finish. We set off on Friday only to be forced turn back after being stuck in traffic for four hours, just 30 minutes down the motorway, so travelling to Dagenham on the day was not ideal but I am not going to allow any excuses for what was served up by Rotherham United.

Q. Given the fresh injury to Craig Morgan can you update us on the current injury list?

The injury situation is really at a serious level but we have no alternative other than to get on with it. Tonge (8 Weeks), Ainsworth (9 Weeks), Arnason (3 Weeks), Agard (2 Weeks), Rose (1 Week), Noble (2 Weeks), Shearer (5 Weeks), Devitt (4 Weeks) and Morgan (2 Weeks).

Q. With the severity of the current injury list are you attempting to add to the squad?

We have been trying to strengthen the squad since the start of season but given what we are facing then yes we would hope to do that, but it really is time for some of those that have come back into the match-day squad in the last week or so to deliver the performances that merit them being at Rotherham United, some of them should look at how Andy Warrington has stepped up.

It has to be said that we have lost big game players recently and players with those qualities are just not readily available but we will be working hard to do so.

Q. With no reserve action this week, what will the week ahead hold for the players?

The lads know they have let themselves and everyone connected to the Millers down but now we need a positive reaction. Those that need some match time will play in a training ground game at some stage and the others will be working on our shape and patterns of play twice a day. We have one of the best teams in League Two, Cheltenham Town, coming on Saturday and they really are dangerous opponents.  

It is another time for all of us to stand up and be counted, the weak go hiding and the strong stay and fight. The reality is that we have a game in hand of all our promotion contenders and three points from that would see us on level points with the team in fourth place. We are still far from happy with that, yet those around us and way below us are saying how great it is, it shows the standards and expectation levels we have here.

We have got good players here and at present we are suffering with a crippling injury list but when we come through this period we will be in contention, that part I do know. I am a proud manager and I stand before my teams good or bad, we have got good players here, terrific and loyal supporters who deserve better but over the season they will get the prize they want.


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