Davies: Rookie right-back Evans so vital to Pompey’s team

Ben Davies, left, and Gareth Evans, right, linked up. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Davies, left, and Gareth Evans, right, linked up. Picture: Joe Pepler
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GARETH EVANS’ rookie right-back career is still very much in its infancy.

Yet Ben Davies believes the necessity of finding a spot in Paul Cook’s team for the 28-year-old overrides the suitability of any role he is handed.

Evans has started Pompey’s past 14 games in the unfamiliar position.

Last season, the right-sided midfielder scored 10 goals in 47 appearances as the Blues reached the play-offs.

Operating behind him at right-back during that time was Davies.

And the duo forged an excellent partnership.

Evans is again in the frame to retain his new role for tomorrow’s trip to Grimsby, the club Davies joined in the summer.

And his former team-mate is convinced the midfielder deserves a place in Cook’s team, irrespective of where it is.

He said: ‘It’s good to see Gaz playing – and he deserves to play.

‘He was one of the best players last season so deserves to be in the team, they need him with his energy and it’s good to see him involved.

‘I enjoyed playing with him. When you are a full-back and have somebody in front of you who works as hard as Gaz it makes your life so much easier, he was so unselfish with his running and worked so hard.

‘He’s probably the reason I had such a good year down there considering the work he put in in front of me and how honest he was.

‘Every time I got in a one-v-one situation he was always helping out and backing up, with him playing it made my life easier and I could concentrate on attacking.

‘It’s always better playing with honest players who work hard and Gaz is as honest as the day is long.

‘Being a right-back playing at Pompey with the gaffer there, you can get forward a lot anyway and have plenty of possession of the ball.

‘Gaz is good going forward, he has been a winger most of his career, and he will still have those attacking opportunities in his new position.

‘And he has done well by all accounts.’

The return to fitness of Drew Talbot and Adam Buxton has added plenty of competition for the right-back slot.

Meanwhile, first-year professional Calvin Davies is on loan at Ryman League premier division table-toppers Bognor.

Yet Evans remains Cook’s preferred choice, despite never having played the role before his arrival at Fratton Park in the summer of 2015.

Davies added: ‘When I found out about him playing at right-back I couldn’t believe it and texted him.

‘Secretly, I think he’s really enjoying it! That’s what he tells me!

‘To be honest, he’s a good defender. The only thing which catches you out a few times is the positioning, it’s something I had a few years ago when I first moved back there.

‘However, Gaz knows the game inside out and will be fine.

‘I will text him today and say I’m looking forward to seeing him play in his new position!

‘He’s a great lad and it’s good to see him come back from the injury he had at the end of last season.’

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