Pompey boss mulls over search for right-back

Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Paul Cook is weighing up whether to recruit a new Pompey right-back.

Yet he continues to be impressed by Gareth Evans’ ongoing full-back presence.

On a bad day we need Gareth’s penetration further up the pitch, but then all of a sudden he looks like he has played right-back forever and the balance of our back five is good

Paul Cook

The midfielder has lined-up in the unfamiliar role for the Blues’ last 20 League Two fixtures.

Despite Adam Buxton and Drew Talbot’s return to fitness since the end of October, they continue to be overlooked as Evans retains the position.

A striker remains Cook’s priority during the transfer window, however Pompey’s boss is also mulling over signing another right-back.

The necessity to replace Ben Davies in the summer brought in both Talbot and Buxton, yet both have barely featured.

Talbot has not appeared in the league for the first-team since August, while Buxton has solely played cup matches this season.

Coupled with Cook’s preference for Evans, it means the futures of both are in doubt.

Although the Blues boss continues to publicly back all three contenders.

He said: ‘Adam Buxton was recently on the bench, now he has been replaced purely because Gary Roberts was back.

‘I would play any of those two lads (Buxton and Talbot) tomorrow.

‘You can highlight Talbot and Buxton, but the reason why Evans went right-back is because those two lads were out injured.

‘I didn’t think Gareth Evans would last this long at right-back

‘On a bad day we need his penetration further up the pitch, but then all of a sudden he looks like he has played right-back forever and the balance of our back five is good.

‘Gareth is a machine, he is so fit it is untrue. It is how he looks after himself, it’s a natural fitness.’