GARETH EVANS believes the end-of-season pressure-cooker atmosphere can benefit Pompey.
The midfielder reckons dealing with expectation this season can work in his team’s favour over the final 13 games.
Evans’ side go to Stevenage tomorrow in fifth place, but with just three points covering the sides below them down to Cambridge United in 12th.
The ante is being upped now at the top and bottom of the table at the business end of the season.
But Pompey have been dealing with the demands of everyone surrounding the club all campaign.
And Evans believes being accustomed to that can work in his side’s favour.
He said: ‘There’s an awful lot to play for still.
‘It’s the crunch end of the season.
‘Teams and individual players can get affected by the pressure that comes about.
‘Teams are affected by that whether it’s those trying to survive relegation, go for the play-offs or stay in the automatic promotion sports.
‘You’ll find there’s a lot of bizarre results at this time of the season. There’s definitely a lot to play for.
‘We’ve had to play under pressure all season.
‘We’ve had to play in front of 17,000 fans every other week.
‘There is pressure playing for a club like Portsmouth,
‘So, if any team in the league are prepared for playing under pressure, it should be us.
‘Hopefully, that’s to our benefit.’
Paul Cook held talks with his players yesterday to clarify the way he wants to approach the last leg of the season.
The Pompey boss underlined he wanted his team to return to the forward-thinking play they are best at – something Evans welcomes.
‘Sometimes you have to change your ways, sit in and see the game out,’ said Evans.
‘But we’ve shown we’re not the best at that!
‘So maybe being more offensive is the way to go.
‘I think the manager wanted to distance us from the negativity which is going around.
‘That’s surrounding the club in terms of the results not quite going the way we want.
‘We’ve changed tactically a little bit.
‘But I think the gaffer wants us to go back to playing the way we’re good at playing.
‘Perhaps we’ve lacked some of that in the last two games.
‘Hopefully, doing that will be the reason for us to go on a run now.’
– JORDAN CROSS