Portsmouth boss salutes Gareth Evans’ emergence in pivotal role

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Gareth Evans’ early-season impact in the number 10 role has been lauded by Kenny Jackett.  

After being an unused substitute for the League One curtain-raising win over Luton, the fans’ favourite has started each of Pompey’s past six matches.

Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Despite being a winger by trade, he’s adapted seamlessly in his new remit. Evans has scored two goals and helped the Blues to second in the table.

He has also captained Pompey in the absence of Brett Pitman. 

The 30-year-old is expected to maintain his spot in Jackett’s line-up for today’s clash against Shrewsbury at Fratton Park.

And the Blues boss hailed the qualities Evans brings to his side.  

Jackett said: ‘Gareth has settled into the number 10 role pretty well and brings a lot of the strengths we want him to bring into that team.

‘We will see how that continues – like many others. I didn’t see it last year and perhaps I should have.

‘With Jamal Lowe being so strong, at times Gareth is maybe thinking he’s got to wait for Jamal not to be playing.

‘He has been a variable player, though, played inside in midfield and at times at right-back as well, so will do you a job wherever you go.

‘But at the moment he is playing just behind the striker and doing very well in that role. We will see how that develops.

‘He brings a lot to the team, has very good character, terrific work-rate and an eye for goal.

‘He gives us something both ways. It’s early season but he’s shown a lot of promise in there, definitely.’

Evans faces competition from Andre Green for a place in Jackett's line-up against the Shrews. 

The Aston Villa loanee made his Pompey bow in Tuesday’s 4-0 Checkatrade Trophy defeat of Gillingham. 

Although he operated in a left-wing role, Jackett is certain Green can adeptly function more centrally. 

The boss added: ‘Everyone can see his speed and potential, he just has to build on that now.

‘He has the potential and the physique to play a number of roles across the front line.

‘We have got some competition across that front line, which is terrific, and so there should be at a club like Portsmouth.

‘I felt he should play where he’s used to on Tuesday night.

‘After that we’ll look in training, we’ll look in the games, see how the team develops. He has the power to play right across the front.’