Portsmouth man Evans: Sunderland were celebrating – but we’re out to give them Fratton battering

Gareth Evans warned Sunderland they face a Fratton firestorm in their play-off return.

Monday, 13th May 2019, 10:33 am
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

The attacking talent told how his side intend to give the Black Cats a torrid second-leg battering on home soil on Thursday night.

Jack Ross’ side grabbed a 1-0 lead at the Stadium of Light on Saturday night, but Evans feels the Blues have the edge going into the return.

And the 31-year-old revealed how the home side’s bullish celebrations on the final whistle had been noted by his team.

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Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans explained Kenny Jackett’s men will use the memory of their stirring fightback in the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembey against Sunderland as motivation.

And Pompey are out to subject their foes to more of the same as they lock horns again.

Evans said: ‘It's still very much in the balance. There wasn't much in it.

‘There was a little bit of quality from them for their goal.

‘They've got the goal, but it's only half-time and we said in the dressing room that we were 1-0 down half-time at Wembley.

‘We went on to batter them in the second half - and that's fully what we intend to do on Thursday.

‘There's still 90 minutes to play and it's not like the tie was over.

‘At the end of the game they were celebrating like they'd' won three or four nil.

‘It's up to them how they celebrate. We just need to be as professional as we can and do the business on Thursday.

‘It's only 1-0 and there's still 90 minutes to play. We very much fancy ourselves.

‘Perhaps mentally they feel like they've got the edge, but we feel like we've got the edge.

‘It's in the balance, but at Fratton Park in front of packed crowd we fancy ourselves to score a couple of goals at least.’

Evans fully expects it to be a Fratton bearpit for Sunderland to contend with on Thursday night.

And he feels a sell-out crowd will create a memorable occasion under the lights for the visitors to contend with.

The League Two title winner reckons Pompey then have to make what he sees as their superior quality count.

Evans added: ‘It's going to be a great game, a great occasion and the whole of Portsmouth is looking forward to it.

‘I know the lads are extremely excited about it.

‘It’s sold out and it’s going to be one of those fantastic nights at Fratton Park - and we want the result to go with it.

‘We’re very positive and we feel like we’re a better team than Sunderland.

‘So we have to get the result on Thursday and get the better of them.’