Ian Evatt says he is “not too downbeat” after back-to-back defeats in the cup competitions but admits his side have got to stop gifting goals if they are to be successful this season.
Here are five top talking points from tonight’s 90 minutes.
THE TALL GUYS
Wanderers had plenty of height at the back but were again undone by a set piece for the first goal – a free header from six yards out for Mikael Mandron.
Consistency and concentration must improve across the board for Bolton’s back line, who should be more physically dominant than they have shown over the last couple of games.
Ryan Delaney, Harry Brockbank and George Taft had bright moments, yet the lapses are costing Ian Evatt’s side dear at the moment.
The way Evatt has assembled his squad over the last eight weeks means players are still at different levels of fitness – and it told at times, with Crewe’s back line gifted plenty of space to stride forward and pick a pass.
You would hope this will improve and the ‘press’ which has worked well in fits and starts will become more effective as time goes on.
OFF THE MARK
Every striker will tell you a weight gets lifted off their shoulders when they score a first competitive goal, and that is sure to be the case for Eoin Doyle. The Irish front man had two or three golden chances in the second half which would have put the game out of sight but missed the target by inches.
Once one hits the back of the net he can relax. And every Wanderers fan has their fingers crossed that the goals will flow after that.
Ali Crawford hadn’t managed more than an hour in pre-season but came through 90 minutes and looked strong in the latter stages for Wanderers against Crewe.
His quality started to tell just before half time and as he demanded more of the ball, Bolton started to click as an attacking unit.
Credit must also go to substitute Shaun Miller, who as well as supplying a very tidy finish, linked up superbly with Doyle, Crawford and Co.
Jak Hickman’s debut was an encouraging one. He worked hard down the right, put in some excellent deliveries and also showed a willingness to fill in at the far post when Liam Gordon attacked down the opposite flank.
The former Coventry City man arrived as a relative unknown to Bolton supporters but they will have surely been impressed with his first outing.
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