'We can beat them!': Portsmouth ace has this play-off warning for Sunderland ahead of crunch clash

Portsmouth winger Gareth Evans believes his side will be at an advantage when they face Sunderland in the League One play-offs.

By Mark Donnelly
Monday, 06 May, 2019, 10:23

The two-legged affair will be the fourth and fifth times the Black Cats have met Pompey this year - with the pair having already faced-off twice in the regular season alongside their meeting at Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

Sunderland have failed to win any of those meetings, leaving Evans with the belief that his side have a big psychological advantage ahead of the first clash between the duo on Saturday.

Gareth Evans has fired a play-off warning to Sunderland

And he says Pompey would be confident of taking on any foe in the play-offs - and has warned Sunderland that there is a strong belief in the camp at Fratton Park.

"Now we have Sunderland again, that’s going to be the fourth and fifth time we’ve played them as well, maybe you can take that as a positive." he said, speaking to The News.

"We know quite a lot about their strengths and weaknesses, but I suppose you could say for them.

"I am confident we can beat anyone in the league – so bring it on.

"I would like to think our Checkatrade Trophy win could have an impact on the game.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

"We’re unbeaten against them this season having played each other three times, although two of those over 90 minutes have been draws.

"We feel we can beat them – and we go there with belief we can defeat them over two legs."

A tie with Sunderland is arguably one of the more difficult tests that Portsmouth could have been handed - but Evans is far from phased at having to battle past one of the early-season promotion favourites.

"It doesn’t really matter who we had in the play-offs because you must beat whoever is in front of you," he admitted.

‘But it would have been nice to finish third, I’m not going to lie about that.

‘It’s great to finish as high as you can in the table and, ahead of the final two games, we could have finished in the automatics, but we didn’t quite manage to get that third spot.

‘Still, if you had told had us at the start of the season we were going to win the Checkatrade Trophy and finish fourth then you probably would have taken it.’