Competition for Pompey places bringing best out of Evans

Gareth Evans has welcomed the competition for places at Pompey amid speculation linking the club with another right-back.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 27th January 2017, 5:13 pm
Gareth Evans

Tuesday night’s January transfer window deadline (11pm) offers boss Paul Cook the last chance to add to his squad this season.

But with Preston striker Eoin Doyle the Blues’ main priority, and Evans already in a three-way fight for his position, it remains to be seen whether Cook chooses to boost his backline.

Brighton defender Rob Hunt had been mentioned with a Fratton Park switch earlier in the window, only to this week sign on loan at League One Oldham.

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Sligo Rovers right-back Tobi Adebayo-Rowling is another said to be on Pompey’s radar.

Evans, though, already has summer signings Drew Talbot and Adam Buxton to contend with after switching roles from winger to defender earlier this term.

And for the versatile 28-year-old, paper talk of more incomings only serves to underline his desire to retain a first-team position.

He said: ‘It’s always healthy to have competition for places.

‘But I have got enough competition at the club as it is – there are two right-backs who are waiting to play.

‘That keeps me on my toes.

‘I come in and work hard – that’s the top and bottom of it.

‘So if someone else comes in, then they come in – it doesn’t really have an effect on my day-to-day training.’

Evans, though, is not taking his starting role for granted.

He added: ‘If my own performances drop for two or three games there are a couple of lads here well within their rights to be knocking on the manager’s door and asking “why aren’t I playing?”

‘I know that if I have a run of bad games, I am going to get replaced – that’s what keeps performances up.’