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Steve Evans predicts who’ll be promoted to the Championship

Gillingham boss Steve Evans predicts who’ll be promoted to the Championship, and it’s caused quite a stir with fans on social media.

The race for promotion in the League One table is heating up nicely with many teams still in the mix, with some sacking their managers with the playoffs in mind.

Danny Cowley has come in at Fratton Park in replacement of Kenny Jackett and helped settle nerves as Portsmouth came from behind to beat promotion rivals Ipswich on Saturday.

We’ve also seen Lee Bowyer quit Charlton Athletic in favour of a manager’s job at Birmingham City, with Nigel Adkins taking over at The Valley.

Hull City and Peterborough United currently occupy the automatic promotion places, the Tigers on 69 points from 37 games played whilst the Posh are on 66 points from 36 games.

Sunderland, Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers and Blackpool sit in the playoff places, the Black Cats with 64 points from 35 games, the Imps with 62 points from 36 games, Donny with 57 points from 34 games, and the Tangerines 56 points from 34 games played.

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

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He knows his side are punching above their weight after moving up to eighth in the League One table on Saturday, following a 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers, still just two points adrift of the top six.

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.”

If the Gillingham boss’ outlandish claim is anything to go by, that will leave the likes of Portsmouth, Blackpool, Ipswich, Charlton and Doncaster wondering what’s the point.

He also spoke ahead of his upcoming game against league leaders Hull City.

“It been good for the players to not have a midweek game. We have given the bulk of the first-team players a couple of days off, just to freshen them up. We have gone for about six weeks playing every Saturday, then Tuesday. It’s been 14 or 15 players who have been trying to deliver top performances in League One.

“We did some work on the training ground today. The boys are looking, bright, fresh and strong; there is no sign of fatigue or tiredness, and that comes from the team spirit and winning games. We are now looking forward to going to Hull.”

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

On belief: “I’ve always believed in this team. They are very capable young men, individually and collectively. They have been terrific. We have some real positive characters in the group. That is why we are still fighting for what would be a great prize. We are fighting because the boys are producing so much effort.

“The players are on social media, I don’t do it myself, and they feel the support. There isn’t any manager, unless he is a player-manager, who can go out and win games. He can help them and he can lead his team to victory, but the real people that produce the performances are the players.

“We always understand the opposition and we do our homework and brief our players. The players win football matches, and our players have a real belief at the moment. I have belief in them.”

And on Hull: “They are a terrific team. They have an outstanding manager (Grant McCann) and someone I am relatively close to. They are a football club that I really respect.

“They are a terrific football club and they have players full of Championship quality. Without a doubt, this is the toughest game of the season. They have multiple options at their disposal, but that is what happens when you have recently been in the Premier League and Championship, you drop back with some real talent. They will be a threat; they play in a particular shape, a particular way, and they are very good at home. We have to be at our best, or we will lose.

“I said to our players, that we need to work on a plan and get it 100 percent right. We need to take chances when they come, as they may come at a premium on Saturday. When the chances come, we need to score goals. Let’s see what we can produce on Saturday. We have to play intelligent football, with no fear. If we go there and fear them, we will get nothing from the game.

“Are we capable of getting something? Absolutely.”

Fans reacted as Steve Evans predicts who’ll be promoted to the Championship…

Terry Palmer: Sounds like his mind games are working

Les Waters: Good old fashioned knockabout stuff by Evans – more fool them if they get rattled by it 😂

Steve White: I like what he’s saying 👍

Adam Humphrey: He has to be bullish and he obviously has belief in his team and there is nothing wrong with it and if others are rattled by his shithousery then it’s mission accomplished, Its nothing different to lots of other managers, fergie was always the king of mind games and look what he achieved, good luck to him and UTG!

Jason Underdown: Of course a manager must say no we are going to get in by sheer luck and we stand no chance of making it through the playoffs! 🙄 I dont know what part ppl dont get about why he says this….If your manager dont believe in you as a team then the players might as well set up camp on a beach somewhere now for their summer hols!

Ross Brown: I love it 😂

Matthew Price: If Evans was the manager of another team that was a playoff rival of ours and Evans came out with this 🐂💩 our fans would be in uproar. But because he’s our manager,then it’s fine?

Daniel Bond: He’s obviously playing mind games and trying to put the mental pressure on those teams above us.

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