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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Ian Evatt: "You don't need to be Michael Fish to know it was going to rain!"

Ian Evatt: "You don't need to be Michael Fish to know it was going to rain!"

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt has slammed Mansfield Town for not calling off tonight’s League Two fixture sooner.

Wanderers had to make an early exit from Field Mill after the game was postponed 90 minutes before kick-off for a waterlogged pitch.

It was the second time the fixture has been called off because of the weather and Evatt did not hide his disappointment as the rain continued to fall on the touchline.

“I’m fuming to be honest - I’m furious,” he told The Bolton News. “I live 20 minutes from here and last week the game was called off far too early. At three or four o’clock the game would have been perfectly playable.

“The temperature had increased and the groundsman had just said the same thing to me. Today I wake up 20 minutes away and knowing what the conditions were like last week and what the pitch is like, I said to myself straight away that it’s off.”

Evatt revealed that a pitch inspection had taken place in the afternoon – which was not announced publicly by the host club – but the pitch was deemed just about playable by the match official.

“They had an inspection at half 12 and said it was borderline but you only have to look at the weather forecast to know it is absolutely going to lash it down for two hours this evening,” he said. “Apparently there is a local ref who came to look at the pitch. Apparently he said it was ‘iffy’ but that we’d give it a go. Low and behold the heavens open and we have another one called off.

“We incur costs for the hotel, travel all the way down here and it’s called off. It isn’t acceptable behaviour and I don’t know who is to blame but it isn’t good enough.

“It isn’t so much the travel, even though it isn’t cheap to travel on coaches and costs for pre-match food and meeting rooms, then to travel with Covid and increase the risk of that. It beggars belief, really, that this game was not called off this morning.

“You don’t need to be Michael Fish to know it was going to rain – and if the pitch was already like that with all the snow we had overnight, it was only going to deteriorate from there. It made no sense for us to travel all this way and incur the cost it did.”

Wanderers must now reschedule the game and focus on this weekend’s trip to Salford City – but Evatt admits the postponement will have a knock-on effect on his training ground.

“It’s frustrating because it has messed up our schedule, and because the players have travelled again we can’t really get them in in the morning because of the amount of time they will have spent on the road. Tomorrow we will have to have a recovery day and then Thursday and Friday train.”


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