Evans: Time to make up for lost Pompey matches

Gareth Evans came on as a second-half substitute against Oxford United on Sunday Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans came on as a second-half substitute against Oxford United on Sunday Picture: Joe Pepler
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Gareth Evans burst back into the Pompey reckoning and insisted: Time to make up for lost matches.

The popular midfielder marked his return from injury by featuring in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Oxford United.

It was stupid really, inexperience from soft-tissue injury. I should have possibly missed the Southend game

Gareth Evans

His 39-minute cameo from the bench was well-received by supporters – and also relief for the 29-year-old.

A hamstring problem had kept him out for eight of the previous 13 fixtures, worryingly during two spells.

Evans blames himself for the last setback, when he aggravated the injury while scoring at Southend last month.

Now he’s fit and eyeing a strong finish to the campaign – both for himself and the Blues.

The midfielder said: ‘There are no injury problems whatsoever. Hopefully that is behind me now and I can just move forward with the rest of the season.

‘It was the same hamstring. It was tight a couple of days before and I thought I’d risk it and try to get through, but it was stupid really, inexperience from soft-tissue injury. I should have possibly missed the Southend game.

‘It happened five minutes or so before the goal. I felt it was gone and was struggling trying to get through, thinking it could be a little bit of tightness.

‘Then when I kicked the ball into the net and landed on it I felt it pop again. There was no point carrying on, so I came off.

‘Low and behold it was another Grade 2 hamstring.

‘It was a re-tear. I think it was an 8cm tear the first time and 6cm the second. It was quite hard getting it right the second time because after a certain number of times it can take longer to heal.

‘You live and learn and move on.

‘I possibly should have sat out a game or two before. I was trying to put myself through a barrier to help the team out, which is stupid really. I should have just sat out.

‘I’ve ended up missing out on matches, but you live and learn and hopefully it is behind me now and you move on.’

Evans revelled being back on the Fratton Park turf during a maiden home win of 2018.

He was involved in an excellent move for the second goal, which saw Jamal Lowe tee up Brett Pitman.

Evans was asked to operate more centrally than usual, but relished the opportunity to play once more.

He added: ‘I’ve got the buzz for it again.

‘I was really looking forward to Sunday’s game, even though I knew I wasn’t starting.

‘I was hopeful I would play a part in the match and Joe (Gallen) sent me on after 51 minutes, so I managed to get decent time on the pitch.

‘I couldn’t wait to get back out there and really enjoyed it. The icing on the cake was to get a win.

‘I’ve got a good relationship with the fans, I love playing here, I think they know I love playing and living here. It’s as simple as that.’