Evans adamant Portsmouth can regain top spot at Luton

Gareth Evans is confident Pompey can regain top spot in League One at Luton Town.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 1:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:37 pm
Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

After looking down on their rivals for almost four months, Kenny Jackett’s men were dislodged from the summit of the table by the Hatters on Saturday.

Luton took advantage of Pompey’s FA Cup involvement against QPR. Their 1-0 victory at Southend leapfrogged them two points ahead of the Blues.

Jackett’s side are presented with a swift opportunity to reclaim their berth out in front when the two sides do battle at Kenilworth Road tonight (7.45pm).

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Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Hatters have been in superb form, losing just one of their past 22 league matches.

In contrast, Pompey travel to Luton following back-to-back losses to Blackpool and Oxford in the third tier. 

The Blues’ confidence has been boosted with a win over Petetrborough in the Checaktrade Trophy and drawing 1-1 with QPR since, however. 

They also defeated Town 1-0 on the opening day of the season at Fratton Park.

And Evans feels the visitors can again clinch three points in the top-of-the-table showdown. 

The midfielder said: ‘They’ve had a really good run of form and we’ve stumbled in the past couple of league games.

‘I don’t know who the favourite is, it’ll just make for a good contest and it’ll be interesting.

‘They’re a really good side, there’s no getting away from that.

‘But we’ll feel we’ve got enough to go there and take the points off them. That’s what we’re looking to do.’

Evans admitted Luton’s sophisticated diamond formation can be difficult to play against.

But the 30-year-old believes Pompey have the quality to negotiate the Hatters’ threat.

He added: ‘They possibly just edged it (at Fratton Park), particularly in the second half and came on very strong.’

‘They play an interesting formation that tends to frustrate teams – they probably did that with us.

‘But it’s goals that win games at the end of the day. We managed to score and they didn’t.

‘We’re confident with the form we’ve had away from home and feel we can beat anyone home or away.’

‘The full-backs push on quite a lot and overload the wide areas.

‘They play a diamond but a bit differently so it’s not quite as easily to switch play like you normally can against the diamond.

‘They’ve obviously got front men who can score goals as well.

‘They’re a good good team but we’ve got good players and have a good team as well.’