Evans: Pompey boss’ man-management inspired us

Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
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GARETH EVANS admitted Pompey were ‘shot to pieces’ after their Crewe debacle.

Yet he has pinpointed Paul Cook’s man-management for transforming the shell-shocked Blues into a top-three side.

Besides the Plymouth play-off semi-final, after the Crewe game was probably the lowest I have been at the club mentally

Gareth Evans

It has been a remarkable turnaround by Pompey’s players to stand six points clear in the automatic promotion spots.

Following three successive victories, during which 10 goals have been netted, Cook’s troops have left the Fratton faithful daring to hope.

The outstanding 4-0 thumping of Grimsby on Tuesday night was the latest statement of intent.

And the rejuvenated Blues can see the League Two exit with nine matches remaining.

Evans said: ‘If you saw the changing room this time last week, it was shot to pieces and hard to piece it together for the Crawley game.

‘We felt we had really missed an opportunity with the two home games and one point earned.

‘We’ve turned it around since.

‘That’s down to the gaffer more than anyone else, he got us together and made us realise it’s not the end of the world.

‘He told us there are more games to go and everyone should be proud of playing for this club. The club expects and you have got to deliver.

‘I think that was good management.

‘We have a couple of good characters in the dressing room who also contribute towards that, but the gaffer definitely helped out in terms of getting the lads back together and back at it.

‘Besides the Plymouth play-off semi-final, after the Crewe game was probably the lowest I have been at the club mentally.

‘You are walking around seeing the disappointment on the fans’ faces after the game and still feel you want to clap them to try to get morale around the place back up.

‘However, to see so many down faces after the game was really quite a low.

‘That has definitely made the last three games all the more enjoyable.’

Pompey head to Stevenage on Saturday seeking to extend their timely winning run.

While others are stuttering in pursuit of the top three, there is a swagger to the Blues’ performances, coupled with a crucial cutting edge.

But Evans knows that approach must be maintained if they are to achieve their promotion ambition.

He added: ‘It would have been easy to go to the Crawley game and crumble, getting a goalless draw or losing 1-0.

‘The character around the changing room among the lads is obviously strong to turn it around, everyone wants the same thing – promotion.

‘We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the next nine games.

‘It hasn’t just been the results over the last three games, it’s also the way we have gone about the results.

‘The performances have been excellent to a man.’