Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey player Gareth Evans

Pompey Christmas quiz: Gareth Evans

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It was a gathering, the assembling of concerned players in pursuit of transforming flailing form

Certainly nothing representative of the official meeting called after that Crewe performance last season, a pivotal moment to yield the title-winning outcome.

Nobody likes the feeling of losing so we got amongst ourselves, without having an official meeting as such, and said “Come on, let’s get our act together and start winning some games”

Gareth Evans

Nonetheless, Gareth Evans pinpoints how the players’ desire to turn around Pompey’s recent fortunes turned to group discussion.

Following four successive defeats, culminating in FA Cup elimination at League Two Luton, conversations were held.

On Tuesday night Kenny Jackett’s men head to Peterborough (7.45pm) seeking a fourth consecutive victory.

It has been a swift turnaround, at the heart of it standing Evans and fellow members of last season’s side in Danny Rose, Kal Naismith, Kyle Bennett, Jamal Lowe, Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke.

And the versatile right-sided player has stressed how it has been truly good to talk.

Evans said: ‘We did talk about it on the bus and when we sat together to have breakfast.

‘There wasn’t a formal meeting or anything like that, but we got together and chatted.

‘Nobody likes the feeling of losing so we got amongst ourselves, without having an official meeting as such, and said “Come on, let’s get our act together and start winning some games”.

‘If you lose you end up thinking about it all the time and it takes over your life. It ends up getting to the point where you think “Let’s get some wins now” – and that’s where it has gone.

‘We had four losses and the Charlton match all of a sudden became quite a big game because if we’d have lost that it would have been defeat number five.

‘We went about it in the right way and ended up getting the right result and it snowballed a little bit. Hopefully it continues tonight and we win again.

‘I’m not sure what the turnaround is down to, a change in personnel or whatever it is, but it just so happens we’ve got three wins on the bounce – and must keep it going now.’

An abject 1-0 home defeat to Crewe in March proved the catalyst to last season’s success.

After the players held an inquest, Pompey won 10 of their remaining 12 fixtures to lift the League Two crown on a memorable final day of the campaign.

Evans added: ‘The Crewe game always sticks out among people, it was a particularly bad match and we ended up having a run and the rest is history.

‘There was an official meeting in the video room at the training ground after that result – and it made a big difference.

‘We sat down and ended up writing on the board, listing our pros and cons, how the season had gone and how we saw it progressing within the group.

‘Players here aren’t going out onto the pitch to lose, it’s just sometimes it can be a variety of factors.

‘Back then we couldn’t really put our fingers on exactly what it was, everybody was just fed up of feeling the way we did after the Crewe game.

‘And, of course, we ended up going on a run to the title.’