Pompey'sÂ set-piece expert seeking more success
Gareth Evans demonstrated his set-piece credentials last season.Â
Now Pompey's midfielder is aiming to crank up the dead-ball assistsÂ having established himself as Kenny Jackett's go-to man.
At times last season, the BluesÂ bossÂ struggled to identify his most effective set-piece takers, particularly during periods when Evans was out of the team.
Eventually he settled for Evans, who ended the campaign by delivering the left-wing corner headed home by Brett Pitman in the final match against Peterborough.
The long-serving midfielder also contributed in the opening pre-season friendly at Cork City.
On that occasion, his right-wing corner was headed home by Christian Burgess.
And Evans is striving for more of the same success in the forthcoming campaign.
He said: '˜I managed to set up a few goals from set-pieces last season and I'm definitely looking to do that more this time around.
'The gaffer has made it known that he wants us to score more goals from set-pieces, so I'll be working on my delivery and I'm sure the gaffer will have the rest of the lads trying to improve on finishing.
'˜Set-pieces became quite a big part of my game last season, putting the ball in was important.
'˜We ended up scoring a fair few goals after Christmas from set-pieces, but it still probably was not enough and is something to work on.
'˜We've seen in training that Lee Brown can also take set-pieces. Having a really sweet left foot, it gives us another option.
'˜He canÂ deliver in-swingers from the right-hand side and I can deliverÂ in-swingers from the left-hand side or vice-versa, it gives us another option, you can see what he can do.
'˜Christian (Burgess) scoring from a corner against Cork was a good start, and he's told me he wants more goals this season.
'˜TheÂ best opportunity for him to do that is from set-pieces, so I'll be improving my delivery as much as I can '“ and I'm sure he'll be improving his runs and finishing as well.'
Following last term's finish of eighth, Evans is looking a little higher up the table.
And he believes it can be achieved.
He added: '˜I'm expecting an improvement, I'm sure everyone is. It was not a bad finish in the first season back at League One,Â albeit not what we wanted.
'˜We wanted to finish in the play-offs, we thought we were good enough to finish in the play-offs. Hopefully we can do that this season.'