Pompey boss satisfied with right-back options

Kenny Jackett believes Pompey possess sufficient right-back options.

Friday, 7th July 2017, 6:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:09 am
Gareth Evans Picture: Sarah Standing

And Gareth Evans will again be considered to fulfil duties he performed so impressively during the capture of the League Two title.

This summer has seen Nathan Thompson added to the Blues’ defensive options, offering versatility.

The former Swindon man has experience at right-back and joins Evans and Drew Talbot in challenging for a spot.

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Certainly, it will be a tough ask to dislodge Evans, who intriguingly was named captain for the opening 45 minutes of last weekend’s friendly at Salisbury.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder was converted by Paul Cook last season, ending the memorable campaign with 41 successive league outings at right-back.

Evans adapted superbly to his new role, strengthening his popularity among the Fratton faithful.

And new boss Jackett is weighing up retaining him in the job.

Pompey’s manager said: ‘At right-back we obviously have Gareth Evans, who was the player that finished in the team there and is an impressive professional and a good player.

‘Obviously, we also have Drew Talbot and now added Nathan Thompson, so in terms of right-back there are options this year.

‘I think we have enough. You have to prioritise recruiting in your squad.

‘We’ll see where Gareth plays, his options are wide right or right-back, depending on where he is asked.

‘He started pre-season very well, has come back very fit and has a good attitude. He also has the ability to certainly play in any formation or position down the right-hand side.’

Evans has made 93 appearances and scored 16 times since arriving at Fratton Park in the summer of 2015.

Last term he also solved the Blues’ penalty problems, stepping forward to net three times from the spot from April.

Up until that point, Cook’s side had missed seven of their 12 penalties, with Gary Roberts, Conor Chaplin, Michael Smith and Kal Naismith among those to fail.

Meanwhile, the captaincy is up for grabs in the forthcoming campaign following Michael Doyle’s departure for Coventry.

And again Evans will be bidding for the armband against the Hawks tomorrow.

Jackett added: ‘That was maybe just a reflection of last week’s training in terms where Gareth was in age, experience and attitude.

‘He’s fit – they are all pretty much fit – and he has a good attitude.’