'Cook changes it for Ipswich... I never thought it would happen for them before' - Gillingham boss Evans

Gillingham manager Steve Evans during the Sky Bet League One match at The Valley, London. Picture da

Gillingham manager Steve Evans. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Gillingham manager Steve Evans believes the managerial appointment of Paul Cook could be the catalyst for Ipswich Town getting promoted.

Cook replaced Paul Lambert in the Portman Road hot-seat earlier this week and takes charge of his first game at Gillingham tomorrow lunchtime (1pm).

There is no love lost between Evans and Lambert, the pair having clashed on the touchline back in September 2019.

Evans refused to shake Lambert's hand at the end of that game, claiming Lambert had 'said something that would concern someone in the street, never mind a professional football manager trying to win a game'. Lambert responded by calling those allegations 'disgraceful and a load of lies' and said, unlike Evans, he was a 'real Glasgow man'.

Then, ahead of the pair meeting again in 2020, Lambert refused the offer of an olive branch by Evans, saying: "I'll never interact with him again after that. If that's the way he wants to work, nae problem, but don't expect me to shake his hand."

Asked about Cook replacing Lambert ahead of Ipswich's trip to Priestfield, Evans told the Kent Messenger: “My only surprise is that Paul Cook is not managing in the Championship. The job he did at Wigan was nothing short of sensational.

"When he left Wigan a few people like myself probably thought he was nailed on to be going to Bristol City, it didn’t happen, but he has gone to a giant and one thing that giant will be is in the Championship under Cooky. I never thought it would happen under where they have been in the last year or so.

"Paul Cook changes it for Ipswich Town. He will bring a real enthusiasm to a talented group of players. He knows what it takes to get a big club up.

“If you had a budget of the league table they would be in the top three and we would be in the bottom three but games are won by finding a way and scoring more goals than the opposition and that is what we did on Tuesday (beating MK Dons 3-2)."

Paul Lambert and Steve Evans getting animated during the second half at Gillingham. Photo: Pagepix

Paul Lambert and Steve Evans getting animated during a game at Gillingham. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix

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