Evans happy to continue as Pompey’s midfield maestro

Pompey midfielder Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep
Pompey midfielder Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep
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Matt Clarke in action against Walsall. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Gareth Evans is relishing his role as Pompey’s midfield maestro.

The vice-captain has started the past two games in the Blues’ engine room.

Evans delivered a man-of-the-match performance in the victory at Walsall on Saturday – scoring the only goal of the game on 79 minutes.

He retained central-midfield duties against Wigan on Monday and caught the eye again in the 2-1 success on Paul Cook’s return to Fratton Park.

Despite being a wideman for most of his career, Evans revealed he is enjoying the mantle of being the experienced head in the middle of the park.

He said: ‘Joe Gallen pulled me in and asked me what my thoughts were as they fancied putting a bit more experience in there.

‘I’ve enjoyed it to be fair, so I can’t complain.

‘I’ve played in central midfield here and there in the past. Earlier in the season against Fleetwood I played there for about half-an-hour.

‘I’ll play anywhere if it helps the team and we end up winning. I think the gaffer wants a bit more experience and knowhow in there.

‘I’d like to think that’s what I bring to the table at this stage of my career. I’ll be pleased to carry on there.

‘I find myself playing anywhere these days. Right-back, right-wing, centre-midfield and in the number 10 role.’

Evans recently returned from a hamstring injury he picked up at Southend that ruled him out for four games.

He came on as a substitute in the win over Oxford before starting against Walsall and Wigan.

After enduring a difficult run of results, Pompey have now clinched four successive victories and sit outside the play-offs on goal difference.

Evans admitted it was difficult seeing his team-mates down during a lean spell when he was sidelined.

And he thanked boss Kenny Jackett for swiftly returning him to his line-up.

‘It’s great the gaffer has put me back in the team,’ Evans added.

‘I really appreciate him doing that. Thankfully I have repaid him and hopefully I can keep it going.

‘When I was injured, it was difficult seeing the lads down.

‘I wasn’t able to contribute to getting them back up.

‘I was going into the dressing room at half-time and full-time and could see the lads disappointed.

‘It’s difficult when you’re not involved to pick them up and help out.

‘But obviously the past few games, particularly after Oldham away, there has been a bit of a turning point and an upsurge in form.

‘It’s been good and the atmosphere is really good, so let’s see where it takes us.’