Fans' favourite Gareth Evans in the frame for Portsmouth starting spot in south-coast derby against Southampton

Gareth Evans is in contention for a Pompey start against Southampton
Gareth Evans is in contention for a Pompey start against Southampton
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Kenny Jackett is weighing up handing Gareth Evans a Pompey recall for tonight’s eagerly-anticipated south-coast derby against Southampton.

The Blues boss said the fans' favourite is in the frame for a starting spot in the Carabao Cup third-round clash at Fratton Park.

Evans endeared himself to the Fratton faithful by participating in a chant aimed at Pompey’s closest rivals during the League Two title celebrations in 2017.

The former Fleetwood player also revealed his dislike for Saints ahead of tonight’s match-up.

Yet Evans has featured from the outset just four times this season, with his last start coming against Crawley in the Leasing.com Trophy.

The 31-year-old was an unused substitute in the League One defeat against Wycombe on Saturday – despite impressing as a second-half substitute against Burton the previous game.

But with Ellis Harrison suspended, Marcus Harness still not match fit and no-one able to nail down the number-10 role, Jackett is weighing up whether to restore the forward to his starting line up for the visit of Southampton.

The manager said: 'Gareth is in the frame and is always thereabouts.

‘In terms of his best position, the number 10 is a strong one for him.

‘He has the work-rate, particularly off the ball, his work-rate is very good and I also feel he can get a goal.

'Gareth is competing with a couple of other players for that number-10 spot generally.

‘The last time out I put him in a wide-right position to get some crosses in.

‘Gareth was fine and always gives his best, but I don’t think that particular system worked that well that night.

‘Similarly for him, his best spell has been as a number 10 and also in the wide left position where he is cutting inside - he’s has some very good games for us as well.

‘He’s a committed player that can play in any role and will give you everything that he’s got.'

Jackett feels Evans' popularity with the Fratton faithful is down to his commitment when he steps on the field.

The Blues boss also believes the versatility shown during his spell on the south coast has helped endear him to the Pompey supporters.

'If you’re looking at it as well, he’s always given 100 per cent on the pitch,' Jackett added.

‘He came here as a right winger, had a season at right-back in League Two, he came on at Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy final and changed the game for us - and that was from the left wing.

‘He’s a variable player who can play different roles and is very, very committed, hence his popularity.’