Evans held up as Portsmouth’s perfect example

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Gareth Evans represents the perfect example.

For, according to Joe Gallen, Pompey’s players should take note of the midfielder’s first-team re-emergence.

Gareth Evans has forced his way back into Pompey's first-team. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gareth Evans has forced his way back into Pompey's first-team. Picture: Joe Pepler

An unused substitute in the opening-day victory over Luton, the popular performer would have been concerned over his ongoing participation under Kenny Jackett.

Since that point, however, Evans has returned to start the subsequent five matches, serving as skipper in four of them and netting twice.

Catapulted from the sidelines and into the role of a regular first-team presence, Gallen believes others also presently out of the side can learn from Evans’ Blues journey. 

Pompey’s assistant boss said: ‘Gareth is why we are saying stuff to them such as “Be ready, be ready”.

‘Sometimes the ones who are not in the team can’t see any light, but things can change dramatically quickly.

‘There are injuries, lots of things that could happen, and I would say to all the players out of the side “Just be ready”.

‘Gareth wasn’t involved in a number of games, even pre-season, but now you are thinking “We can’t do without him”.

‘It can change very quickly and well done to him for being ready, fit enough and keeping going in training.

‘When he got asked to play he kept his place and has done really well.

‘His return is 100 per cent down to changes to the system. We went 4-4-2 against Luton and then the next game (Blackpool) to 4-3-3 and that change brought him back into play.

‘He has gone from maybe playing on the right of the attacking three to playing there at the end of last season.

‘Back then Gareth scored a very good goal at Walsall and was Sky’s man of the match against Wigan – and rightly so because he runs and runs and runs and runs.’

Evans has now scored 21 goals in 135 Pompey appearances.

He also had opportunities to net in the second half against Doncaster, yet remains a constant goal threat.

Gallen added: ‘Once the manager switched back to that 4-3-3, it brought him back into consideration for that role – and he has developed on the back of that.

‘Ben Thompson has come in, so we’ve put two midfielders sitting back, while you could say it has put Gareth as a number 10.

‘But it’s a third midfielder really – who can score.’