Wanderers Aim To Build On Big Finish

Ian Evatt wants Wanderers to keep the feel-good factor by delivering the perfect finish at Portsmouth.

Evatt’s men head to Fratton Park on Saturday lifted by a fighting comeback against Gillingham a week ago which brought them their first point in four games.

And Evatt kept spirits high with a mid-week meal out and game of darts aimed to keeping his players on point and aiming high.

“We felt good at the end of last week and we have to build on that positive feeling,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

“The group has been really good this week.

“It’s been good in training and we’ve had a day out together as well, so we’re looking forward to the game on Saturday.

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“It’s nice for the players to get away from the training ground and be in a more relaxed setting – an informal setting – and have conversations, not necessarily about football.

“They rarely get that opportunity. The best teams I played in always had good team spirit and that good relationship off the pitch and hopefully they’re well on their way to getting that now.”

Turning around a 2-0 deficit against Gillingham looked a major step back in the right direction for Wanderers following a run of three defeats and the departure of club captain Antoni Sarcevic.

A win at Pompey could lift the Whites back into the top 10 and provide the perfect way to head into a fortnight’s break for cup action in the Papa John’s Trophy and FA Cup.

They will have to do it without injured frontman Amadou Bakayoko, who misses the trip to the south coast with an ankle injury.

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But Eoin Doyle is expected to recover from illness to face the club where he spent a spell on loan four years ago as Wanderers aim to deny Danny Cowley’s side just a second league win since taking 10 points from their opening four League One games.

“They’ve had some fantastic results – a 4-0 win against Sunderland – and they’ve had some poor results,” added Evatt.

“I think we’re very similar. We’ve had a rough ride lately and I think they have had as well.

“But they have some fantastic players and are a very well supported club with an experienced management team.

“It’s a really challenging game so we have to make sure we’re at the top of our game.

“Fratton Park is an excellent place to go and play. I played there and the atmosphere is always top class.

“The lads will enjoy it but we need to focus on ourselves and make sure we perform to our levels and standards.”

Watch the manager's full pre-match interview HERE

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