Evans pride at Pompey character

Gareth Evans celebrates in Pompey's 3-1 win against Yeovil. Picture: Joe Pepler PPP-170804-154002006
Gareth Evans celebrates in Pompey's 3-1 win against Yeovil. Picture: Joe Pepler PPP-170804-154002006
Milan Lalkovic. Picture: Shaun Boggust

Pompey v Walsall: Pre-match talking points

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Gareth Evans is convinced Pompey would have struggled to recover from the set-back of Yeovil’s Fratton Park leveller last season.

A freak goal on 51 minutes cancelled out Evans’ first-half penalty during Saturday’s encounter.

But it was about how we responded – and the fans also played a part in that. They really have contributed a hell of a lot recently and got behind us

Gareth Evans

Arriving against the run of play, Enda Stevens’ clearance struck Matt Clarke. With Francois Zoko in close attendance, the ball then floating over David Forde.

Yet Paul Cook’s men responded in positive fashion, running out 3-1 winners through goals from Kal Naismith and substitute Jamal Lowe.

The Fratton faithful also rallied around the players upon the Glovers’ equaliser.

And Evans believes the current Blues side these days possess the strength of character to bounce back from such a blow.

He said: ‘I think we responded well to the equaliser and that has been the difference between last season and this.

‘There’s a lot more character in the changing room and we have come back from disappointments a hell of a lot better this year, probably earning us an extra 10-15 points on the board.

‘Once again we showed good character against Yeovil and won the game.

‘I don’t know what happened for their leveller, I asked Clarkie afterwards and Enda knocked it against him, it has hit him and gone over the keeper, a bit of a freak goal really.

‘It was against the run of play and was lucky, so you can’t be too disappointed.

‘But it was about how we responded – and the fans also played a part in that. They really have contributed a hell of a lot recently and got behind us.

‘After conceding they started to sing “We’re on our way” straight away. They have faith in the players and that brings confidence throughout the team, which has contributed to the win again.

‘With the quality we have in the team, you cannot help but be confident in getting back into the game.’

Victory for Pompey – and a 4-0 defeat for Stevenage at Colchester – ensures the gap between fourth place is now eight points.

Meanwhile, Evans was delighted with Lowe’s maiden Football League goal after appearing off the bench.

He added: ‘Jamal’s a lovely lad, a good player and all the lads have loved his quality since coming into the club.

‘It’s really pleasing when you see a lad like that come into the team and score. I’m really chuffed for him.

‘He’s a good character in the changing room and a really nice guy who is a very good player as well.

‘I think he has a big future at Fratton Park.’

– NEIL ALLEN