Pompey concerned over Talbot injury

Gareth Evans filled in at right-back for Pompey against Crawley, following Drew Talbot's hamstring injury in training     Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans filled in at right-back for Pompey against Crawley, following Drew Talbot's hamstring injury in training Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson, right, has returned from injury. Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey defender explains importance of Wigan clash

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Paul Cook fears the worst for Drew Talbot.

But the Pompey boss is happy to continue turning to Gareth Evans to fill in at right-back.

Talbot’s ever-present league record since arriving from Chesterfield came to a close in Saturday’s win over Crawley.

The 30-year-old picked up a hamstring injury in training on Thursday, leaving Pompey without a recognised right-back.

Adam Buxton and youngster Calvin Davies remain out of contention at present.

That left Cook to turn to Evans for the meeting with Dermot Drummy’s side.

The Blues manager admitted he’s concerned about the severity of Talbot’s problem.

Cook said: ‘It doesn’t look a good injury.

‘It looks like it may be a longer one, so we’ll wait to see the scan results.

‘It’s a hamstring injury but it doesn’t look good.

‘Adam Buxton’s another week or so away yet.

‘But you can see Gareth Evans. He could certainly play there against Wycombe.’

Cook reserved praise for Evans, who came in for his first league start of the season after the knee and ankle injuries picked up against Plymouth in the play-offs.

After a testing start, the 28-year-old impressed with his work-rate and commitment in an unfamiliar position.

Cook felt Evans and Enda Stevens were Pompey’s stand-out players in the win.

He was delighted with how Evans got on with the job of filling in for his team in a makeshift position.

Cook said: ‘He was excellent. It’s only what we fully expect when you have players like him around.

‘He’s a man and his fitness levels are ridiculous.

‘He’s the fittest player we have at the club.

‘He got caught out positionally early on, but he’s been dropped in there.

‘That’s what you get with Gareth Evans.’

After indicating he was going to use two strikers against Crawley, Cook continued by starting with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

That saw Curtis Main get the nod after Michael Smith’s hat-trick against Yeovil in the Checkatrade Trophy, with Conor Chaplin and Noel Hunt also on the bench.

Cook insisted it was not hard to leave Smith out.

He said: ‘It was harder not to have Noel Hunt on. This is where we’re at.

‘Main gets two and Roberts gets one but people say we have to use two strikers.

‘There’s a bigger picture to us. The most important thing is the success of the club, not any individual.’

– JORDAN CROSS