Evans knows Pompey will get stronger

Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

THE 10 draws are a high in English football.

But Gareth Evans is convinced the shared spoils will soon become wins.

Once the year turns teams will come to Fratton and have to do a bit more.

Gareth Evans

A glance at the Pompey ranks assures the wide man this will be a season in which his side grows in stature.

His confidence improved form at Fratton Park will arrive in the coming months is driven by the knowledge the demands on opponents will grow.

Evans feels the need for a greater return than a draw will develop for teams as the promotion and relegation battles crystalise.

And a look at his career to date tells the 27-year-old the six-point gap to the top three is nothing to worry about.

The focus returns to league action at home against Hartlepool tomorrow.

Improving six stalemates from 11 home league fixtures is what Evans is looking at.

He said: ‘It’s turning those draws to a few wins at home.

‘If we’d turned a few of those around we’d be top of the league.

‘Once the year turns teams will come to Fratton and have to do a bit more.

‘They are going to get to a point where they need to get results either to avoid relegation, get in the play-offs or whatever.

‘They can’t be happy to just come here for a draw, which a lot of teams have to do at the moment. That will play a part.’

A squad of 26 players, who have the quality needed to make an impact in the fourth tier, is an asset few of Pompey’s rivals can match.

Evans feels that will be telling as the rigours of a nine-month season takes its toll on rivals.

He said: ‘You can see the size and quality of our squad.

‘If someone starts to look a bit leggy we can put other players in for a few games and it won’t weaken the team.

‘That’s the way we feel about it, so I think we are going to get stronger after Christmas.

‘The gaffer has made it clear that if players aren’t performing you aren’t going to be here for long.

‘Everyone’s on their toes and know they have to do their bit to get results.’

Pompey go into Saturday’s game with six points separating them from Oxford United, Plymouth Argyle and Northampton Town in the top three. Past experience with Rotherham in the 2012-13 campaign assures Evans that isn’t a gap worth being concerned about at this stage.

He said ‘When I was at Rotherham, we were miles off at Christmas and we ended up getting promoted.

‘I don’t think you can really look too much into the league positions at the minute.

‘It’s six points but if we win two games and they lose it’s turned around.

‘We’re right in there again. It can change in a week.

‘There are teams all the time who do 
it.

‘Crewe went up from League Two after being nowhere at Christmas.

‘It was a ridiculous run of results, they got the last play-off spot and went up through them.

‘Just because you are off the pace a bit early doors doesn’t mean you’re not going up.’