Kenny Jackett: Why I dropped Gareth Evans from Portsmouth squad at Bolton

Kenny Jackett insists Gareth Evans still has a first-team role to play, despite his Bolton exclusion.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 5:32 pm

The long-serving Blues favourite was omitted from the Blues’ match-day 18 which won 1-0 at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday.

However, Evans and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild still accompanied the squad to the north west, training with them on Friday.

Absence from match-day duty when available has been rare for the attacking midfielder during his five seasons at Fratton Park.

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Gareth Evans was left out of Pompey's 18-man squad for Saturday's 1-0 win at Bolton. Picture: Paul Thompson/ProSportsImages

Yet with Pompey still involved in three competitions, Jackett believes there are still plenty of forthcoming fixtures to consider Evans for.

He said: ‘It was a hard decision in terms of the substitutes and Gareth hasn’t done a lot wrong after playing at Gillingham and scoring.

‘But I do feel in that number 10 position Andy Cannon can come in and, at times, I opt to go for a second forward – and it has just edged Gareth out.

‘We are going to need quite a high quality of numbers when you look at the run of games we have over the next three-and-half to four months, we don’t want to get short and be behind in terms of numbers or freshness.

‘While we’ve got a few back out of the treatment room and are looking okay at the moment, obviously we know that can change.

‘The games come thick and fast and we need everybody.’

Pompey host Scunthorpe in the Leasing.com Trophy quarter-finals on Tuesday (7.45pm).

And Jackett is weighing up the potential return of Evans.

He added: ‘I will have a look at the team and see where we are, we’ll see if there are any knocks or anybody looking slightly down.

‘One way or another, there's a big run of games, a lot of Tuesday matches, and, as we get towards late January, are still fighting in three competitions.’