Evans all right for Pompey in new role

GARETH EVANS has promised he's happy to slot into his makeshift right-back role.

Tuesday, 20th September 2016, 7:01 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:09 pm
Gareth Evans Picture: Joe Pepler

But Pompey’s attacking midfielder underlined he doesn’t see a future in the position.

Evans has carved a niche out for himself in defence over the past three games following his return to fitness.

The 28-year-old has solved Paul Cook’s injury problems in the area, with both Drew Talbot and Adam Buxton sidelined.

And Evans has impressed there despite operating in an area of the pitch he’s unaccustomed to.

The former Manchester United trainee stressed he is happy to help out his manager in any way he can.

But Evans doesn’t see a conversion from his normal position further up the pitch.

He said: ‘I’ve quite enjoyed it, to be honest, but I don’t really see it as a long-term solution.

‘It’s not my position but if the gaffer wants me to play there, I’ll play there.

‘It’s a position I find myself in at the minute and, if the gaffer wanted me to play there, I’d play in goal if that’s what was needed.

‘But I’ve always been an attacking midfielder. I’ve always been there.

‘I’ve always made a career out of making and scoring goals.

‘That’s what I’m familiar with, but if I had to choose between sitting in the stand and playing right-back I’d choose right-back.’

Buxton is now nearing a return from an ankle injury and could feature for Pompey’s reserves against Newport County today.

But Talbot is still struggling with his hamstring injury, and was looking at being sidelined for six to eight weeks when picking up the injury in training a fortnight ago.

Evans is likely to make it four starts on the bounce in the right-back position against Barnet at Fratton Park this weekend.

After a testing opening in his first game in the position against Crawley, Evans has grown into the role and its demands.

He stated he feels confident in the position and explained how his team-mates at the back have helped him to feel at home there.

Evans added: ‘I feel quite comfortable there. It’s something I’ve taken on board

‘I’ve not really felt out of place playing there during games.

‘The lads at the back help a lot, Tom (Davies), Christian (Burgess) and David (Forde) behind them.

‘The gaffer wants his full-backs to be quite attacking, so that has helped out a lot, too.

‘If I was a defensive full-back I’d probably be less happy about it, but I get a lot of attacking opportunities.

‘The gaffer gives me quite a bit of licence to get forward. It’s not too bad.

‘I’d like to think my energy helps, but it didn’t at the weekend!

‘In the past few games I’d like to think that was the case, though.’