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Ian Evatt: Keeper Gilks needs more time to recover from Covid

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt: Keeper Gilks needs more time to recover from Covid 12904937

Ian Evatt has revealed the reasons for dropping Matt Gilks to the bench at Wimbledon on Saturday.

The Wanderers boss opted to pick summer signing Joel Dixon at Plough Lane having started with Gilks on the opening weekend against MK Dons.

Debate had raged through the week about the goalkeeper position, with Evatt admitting Gilks – one of last season’s promotion heroes – had an “off day” in the UniBol curtain raiser.

Dixon then came in for the midweek Carabao Cup tie against Barnsley, saving a penalty in the shootout to book a second round game at Wigan Athletic on August 24.

Evatt chose to name Dixon again on Saturday, explaining the rationale after a second successive 3-3 draw.

“Myself and Matt had an honest conversation,” he said. “We have a fantastic relationship and sometimes you have to understand, going back to Covid, the long-lasting effects it can have on people. Matt wants to do well for this football club and he wants to do well for me, and most of the time has done incredibly well, and he’s allowed an off game.

“But for me, we just had a discussion and we felt like he needs some more training time to get his body back to where it was prior to Covid. The kind of concentration things that it affects, not just your lungs and breathing, but he’ll be back bigger, better, stronger. We have two fantastic goalkeepers.”


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