Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans stripped of Portsmouth captaincy roles as Kenny Jackett shakes up leadership duties

Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans has been stripped of their captaincy duties. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans has been stripped of their captaincy duties. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Brett Pitman has been stripped of his Pompey captaincy.

And fans’ favourite Gareth Evans has been relieved of his vice-captaincy in a shake-up of the Blues leadership duties.

Tom Naylor will take the armband from Pitman with defender Lee Brown becoming his new deputy.

Kenny Jackett has opted to make the changes and informed his players on Monday, ahead of the EFL Trophy win over Crawley.

That was seen with Naylor starting as captain in the starting XI alongside Evans. The 28-year-old then continued in the role as Pitman replaced one of the club’s longest-serving players, after he received a bang to the head in a challenge with Jamie Sendles-White.

With Jackett informing the players before the Crawley game, it means Pitman airing his frustrations over his lack of minutes on the pitch had no bearing on the decision.

Tom Naylor is Pompey's new skipper. Photo by Joe Pepler.

Tom Naylor is Pompey's new skipper. Photo by Joe Pepler.

It’s understood there also hasn’t been a specific incident which has prompted the move by the Pompey boss.

Pitman was handed the captaincy immediately after arriving from Championship side Ipswich two years ago.

The 31-year-old has remained in that role, despite being publicly criticised by Jackett last season over his performance levels and being left out of the squad.

Evans was named as vice-captain at the same time and has spoken on many occasions since of his pride at leading his team onto the pitch.

Both men are understood to be disappointed at the decision.

It also follows Evans suffering the ignominy of being subbed 25 minutes after coming on as a sub himself at Blackpool last weekend. 

Naylor will be a popular choice in the dressing room as Pitman’s successor, however, with the former Burton Albion well liked by his team-mates.

The esteem he’s held in was underlined when he was named the players’ player of the season at the club’s gala end-of-season dinner in April.

Naylor has previously outlined his desire to take on a captaincy role and explained he views himself as a leader on the pitch, shortly after signing last year. Jackett has also recently intimated the former Derby man has made it clear to him he has those aspirations.

Brown takes on the new vice-captaincy duties but is currently sidelined with an Achilles injury. The left-back quickly established himself as vocal presence after signing from Bristol Rovers and is one of the club’s biggest characters.