DREW TALBOT has praised the impact of his Pompey stand-in Gareth Evans.
Injuries to Talbot and fellow summer right-back recruit Adam Buxton forced Paul Cook to look elsewhere at the end of August.
Their replacement was Evans, despite the midfielder never having operated in the role before.
Since then, the former Fleetwood player has started 10 matches in the unfamiliar position.
Yet Talbot made his comeback at right-back against Bristol Rovers in the week, while Buxton returned the previous fixture against Wycombe.
Now both are bidding to reclaim their full-back berth.
Talbot, though, has been impressed how Evans has fared.
He said: ‘Gaz has done an awesome job.
‘He is a fit lad, one of the fittest here, so I wouldn’t think it would bother him going up and down the wing.
‘But defensively you have to switch on. He has probably thought to himself “What on earth is going on here?”
‘You have to switch your mind from attacking to defending, which I struggled with for a few seasons. I am still learning now after only playing there for six years.
‘It was thrust upon Gaz, with Bucko (Buxton) getting injured as well, and he has done brilliantly. He is a credit to himself.
‘That competition keeps you on your toes, if you are not performing you are out of the team, so it is up to you to be on your game most of the time.
‘That goes for every position. You can go through the team and if you are not on your game then you are out of the match – that is how it should be.
‘It is up to the gaffer, he picks the team, you have to respect whatever he does, whether I am playing or not.’