'We should play' - Gills boss on Boxing Day clash with Town

Peterborough United Manager Steve Evans during the Skybet League One match Roots Hall, Southend.

Gillingham boss Steve Evans says he is planning for the Boxing Day clash with Town to go ahead - Credit: PA

Gillingham boss Steve Evans says he and his team are planning for their Boxing Day clash with Ipswich Town to go ahead after an outbreak of Covid at the club which saw their weekend match postponed.

The Gills closed their stadium and facilities last Thursday after a number of positive virus tests among staff.

Their game with Crewe on Saturday was subsequently postponed, with players among those testing positive.

But the Gills resumed training again this morning, and are hopeful of being able to host Town - in what would be new Blues' boss Kieran McKenna's first game - on Boxing Day.

Evans said: We need to be focused and ready and have it in our heads it will take place.

"If it is safe to play, we should play football.

“The one thing my chairman and myself were in total unity was that we want football to continue.

“We want our fixtures to continue, our chairman has to get revenue from somewhere, because nobody is coming out the cloud to fund the football club and he is on his own but like the other owners who I have worked with, the health of the people comes first.”

Incoming manager Kieran McKenna speaking with Ipswich Towns Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton duri

Kieran McKenna, left, will take charge of Town for the first time at Gillingham on Boxing Day - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

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Evans added: "The medical staff, who are brilliant, separated the boys (who tested positive), got them away and I spoke to the chairman who was rightfully concerned about one or two other people, maybe more in the building and of course we have the school in close proximity, not only the teachers but some very gifted and beautiful children and they shouldn’t be exposed.

“The chairman made the decision to clear the building (on Thursday) and that was hard as we had eight or nine who were training and they went away but the health comes first.

“We went away to try and have a firebreak and we will go back to work with the players who can come in to work and the others will follow the protocol (before they can return).

“We have to endure it but I don’t think we will be alone in football, this Omicron virus will be around certainly for three or four weeks, in a big way.”

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