Evans: More Portsmouth squad depth than League Two title-winning seasonÂ

He was a key member of the side that was crowned League Two champions.Â

Friday, 21st December 2018, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:37 am
Gareth Evans and his Pompey team-mates celebrate his goal at Barnsley. Picture: Joe Pepler

But Gareth Evans believes Pompey are better equipped to clinch the third tier crown this season. 

Kenny Jackett's men sit top of the table at the halfway stage following a superb opening to the campaign.

On current form, they will return to the Championship after a seven-year hiatus. 

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Gareth Evans and his Pompey team-mates celebrate his goal at Barnsley. Picture: Joe Pepler

That would represent a second promotion in three years, after Paul Cook guided the Blues out of the Football League's basement division in 2017.

Evans featured 46 times during that season '“ primarily operating in a makeshift right-back role.

But despite Cook's troops winning the title, the fans' favourite admitted Pompey didn't have as much strength in depth in relation to the squad Jackett has assembled. 

Evans feels the Blues have two players fighting it out for each position this season '“ which wasn't the case two campaigns ago.

He said: '˜The year we went up was quite difficult. We had a lot of ups and downs and it's hard to compare.

'˜There's a difference in footballing style from the philosophy that each manager has but they were both obviously good teams.

'˜It's hard to draw a comparison at this stage and you'll be able to say when the campaign is over and hopefully got some success.

'˜I think in every position this season we've got two really good players fighting it out to keep the shirt and stay in the team.

'˜Possibly, we didn't have that in League Two and struggled to get a decent run going.

'˜I don't remember us going on a four or five-game winning run, which we've done a few times this season.'

One similarity between the Cook's outfit and Jackett's side is there's no reliance on one goalscorer.

Kal Naismith topped the charts during 2016-17, amassing 15 in all competitions.

Although Jackett has Brett Pitman at his disposal '“ who bagged 25 goals last term '“ he's been behind Oli Hawkins in the pecking order during the League One title charge. 

Evans has weighed in with his share of efforts, registering eight times before Saturday's clash with Sunderland.

The forward is happy with his return so far '“ and reckons everyone chipping in with goals is what's needed to yield promotion. 

He added: '˜When we won the League Two title, there wasn't anyone that really stood out as someone who was going to get us 20 goals or more.

'˜People say you need a 20-goal striker to get promoted  '“ although we know we've got that in Pits.

'˜There's been players all around the team who have been scoring goals and contributing.

'˜That's what you need, it doesn't matter who scores them.

'˜I'm quite happy with my goal return. I probably could have had a couple more if I'm being overly critical.

'˜I've set myself a target for the season and I'm well on my way to it '“ but I'm keeping it private.'