Portsmouth boss salutes Gareth Evans' emergence in pivotal role
Gareth Evans' early-season impact in the number 10 role has been lauded by Kenny Jackett.Â Â
After being an unused substitute forÂ the League One curtain-raisingÂ win over Luton, the fans' favouriteÂ has started each of Pompey's past six matches.
Despite being a winger by trade, he's adapted seamlessly inÂ his new remit.Â Evans has scored two goals and helpedÂ the BluesÂ to second in the table.Â
He haÂ s also captained PompeyÂ in the absence of Brett Pitman.Â
The 30-year-old is expected to maintain his spot in Jackett'Â s line-up for today's clash against Shrewsbury at Fratton Park.
And the Blues boss hailed the qualitiesÂ Evans brings to hisÂ side.Â Â
Jackett said: '˜Gareth has settled into the number 10Â role pretty well and brings a lot of the strengths we want him to bring into that team.
'˜We will see how that continues '“Â 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 anÂ eye for goal.
'˜He gives us something both ways. It's early seasonÂ but he's shown a lot of promise in there, definitely.'
Evans facesÂ competition from Andre Green for a placeÂ in Jackett's line-up against the Shrews.Â
The Aston Villa loanee made his Pompey bow in Tuesday's 4-0 Checkatrade Trophy defeat of Gillingham.Â
Although he operated in a left-wing role, Jackett is certain Green can adeptly function more centrally.Â
The bossÂ added:Â '˜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.Â He has the power to play right across the front.'