Midfielder itching to resume Pompey starring role

Pompey midfielder Gareth Evans
Pompey midfielder Gareth Evans
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A cruel time to suffer the first soft-tissue injury of Gareth Evans’ career.

Nonetheless, the popular midfielder is up and running once again as he bids to resume a fitful League One campaign.

It’s just unfortunate, but hopefully I can pick up where I left off

Gareth Evans

And he’s eyeing the resumption of his encouraging pre-injury form in tomorrow’s visit of high-flying Shrewsbury.

Evans has yet to play this year following a grade-two hamstring tear in the 3-1 win over Northampton.

The soft-tissue problem ruled him out of four matches – a period which has seen Pompey fail to collect a victory.

Now he’s back to bolster Kenny Jackett’s options against the third-placed Shrews – and eager to make an impact.

Evans said: ‘I don’t know how the injury happened, it’s hard to say really.

‘There were quite a lot of games over December and I played pretty much every minute of those, so maybe it was a fatigue thing.

‘I’m trying to put my finger on the reason because my diet’s good, I look after myself and I’ve never had a soft-tissue injury before.

‘It was a bit of a surprise, I thought it was cramp at first because I didn’t know what a soft-tissue injury felt like.

‘That’s the way the season has gone so far for me. In the team, out of the team, then I get in the team and hit a really good vein of form and a decent run of results. Then I’m injured.

‘It’s just unfortunate, but hopefully I can pick up from where I left off.

‘If you are off for two-to-three months it can be a lot harder to get your rhythm back, but with it only being three weeks out it should be okay.

‘I’ve done quite a lot of fitness tests so have not lost any fitness, to be fair.

‘I should be okay – I just need to get selected first.’

At the time of Evans’ injury he had started 11 consecutive games for the Blues after regaining his place in the team.

That period including a 2-0 defeat at Shrewsbury 48 hours before Christmas Day as Paul Hurst’s side showed their quality.

Pompey were second-best on that occasion, but Evans is hoping they can use that knowledge gathered to achieve a better result tomorrow.

He added: ‘They are a good example of what is a good team in this league. They were strong, organised and very tough to break down in the way they set the team up.

‘I am sure it will be exactly the same tomorrow.

‘Look at the size of the clubs in the top six, Shrewsbury are one of the smaller ones and the one with the least resources probably.

‘That is credit to them and credit to the manager – and I am sure they will be up there at the end of the season as well.

‘They are well-organised, the manager has got them very fit and they are very good at closing down, while when they get the ball they’re good at breaking.

‘In our game up there I was our number 10. Shrewsbury had three in midfield so the idea was to try to match them up.

‘I’d be a centre-forward, but when they had the ball would drop into midfield.

‘I don’t think it worked as well as we’d hoped.

‘I’ve played quite a few unusual positions at Portsmouth, so I’m used to it!’

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