Evans: Bizarre comments won’t deflect Pompey progress

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

Four sides competing with Pompey for play-offs

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GARETH EVANS has urged more of the same from play-off-hunting Pompey, despite Home Park criticism.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s goalless draw, Plymouth boss Derek Adams branded the Blues ‘defensive’, ‘leggy’ and ‘coming here just for a point’.

Pompey midfielder Gareth Evans Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder Gareth Evans Picture: Joe Pepler

It was an assessment which baffled the Fratton faithful, who saw a goal-line clearance and then the crossbar deny them victory at the death.

Regardless, Kenny Jackett’s side head to Bradford tonight (7.45pm) buoyed by a strong finish to the season.

Evans was also bemused by Adams’ post-match comments.

And the former Bantams player is adamant Pompey do not need to change their approach.

He’s obviously got a bit of a vendetta against Portsmouth for some reason, perhaps that’s because last season we won the league and he didn’t

Gareth Evans

‘I watched Bradford against Shrewsbury on TV last week and the pitch was shambolic, it hasn’t changed since I was there,’ said Evans.

‘The run of form they’ve had since the turn of the year is horrific, they have completely blown up.

‘But we’re on a good run, we’re playing well and hopefully we can continue this form we are on.

‘Adams’ comments were a bit bizarre. Everyone in our changing room felt if anybody was going to win that game it would be us.

Plymouth boss Derek Adams

Plymouth boss Derek Adams

‘If the match had gone on for another 10-15 minutes, we probably would have got that goal and were also denied two clear-cut penalties.

‘I spoke to Luke (McGee) about it yesterday morning and he doesn’t remember having a proper shot to save.

‘It’s a strange comment from a strange manager.

‘One of the lads on the bus back saw on Twitter what he said and I sat there and thought “What the hell?”

‘Bizarre. He’s obviously got a bit of a vendetta against Portsmouth for some reason, perhaps that’s because last season we won the league and he didn’t.

‘Whether he is playing mind games because he could potentially come up against us in the play-offs, or potentially trying to affect our form or mindset, I don’t know.

‘Or perhaps he genuinely thought that and was just trying to state a fact.’

For Evans, tonight is a return to the club where he made 85 appearances and scored 14 times, before leaving for Rotherham in June 2011.

And he has mixed memories of his Valley Parade stay.

He added: Stuart McCall signed me in his first spell, but was sacked towards the end of that season and Peter Taylor took over.

‘I don’t think Taylor was given the money and backing apparently promised and he lost his job mid-way through the second season.

‘It was just a bit of a shambles at the time – and I think the Bradford fans would probably agree.

‘I came as a striker from Macclesfield and got 11 goals that first season, but it came during a transitional period for the club.

‘I am a different player now. I am a lot more experienced and, it is fair to say, have played a lot more games so have become a better player.’