Portsmouth boss reveals why he took Gareth Evans off at Blackpool after he'd already come on as substitute

Kenny Jackett revealed why he took off Gareth Evans at Blackpool after he’d already come on as a substitute.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 5:30 am
Updated Monday, 2nd September 2019, 6:47 am

The boss wanted a third -natural forward’ to give Pompey added threat on the counter-attack – and apologised to the fans’ favourite for the decision.

Evans replaced Marcus Harness in the 40th minute at Bloomfield Road after the Blues’ goalscorer sustained a thigh strain.

However, the vice-skipper featured for just 25 minutes in total and was brought off for Ellis Harrison on 65 minutes.

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Gareth Evans of Portsmouth during the EFL Sky Bet League 1 match between Blackpool and Portsmouth at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, England on 31 August 2019.

Armand Gnanduillet had netted the Seasiders’ seven minutes earlier and were putting the visitors under the cosh at that stage.

Jackett felt he needed an extra frontman on the pitch to shift the momentum back his side’s way.

Evans’ reaction demonstrated he clearly wasn’t happy when he found out he was making way.

The boss accepted the former Fleetwood man’s frustration – but felt the change helped the Blues.

Jackett said: ‘It is very tough and it was difficult.

‘In that period at the start of the second half, we needed more threat on the break and I felt that we needed a third forward in there.

‘Gareth is generally competing for one of the three midfield roles and has really excelled in the No10 behind the striker where Andy Cannon is now playing.

‘Ellis and Anton Walkes lifted us towards the end. We needed more physicality and I did feel, in terms of down the right-hand side, more pace on the break.

‘It did affect (James) Husbands and then (Curtis) Tilt.

‘Gareth is very, very professional – but he wasn’t happy with it.

‘I have to accept that and I have apologised to him for it but I did feel it was necessary.

‘For Gareth, I just did think we needed in our system a third natural forward.

‘It proved to be because it drove Blackpool back slightly and towards the end of the game, we looked just as likely to win the game as they didn.

‘For some parts of the second half, that wasn’t the case for us.’